Our April tri club spotlight goes out to the UC Davis triathlon team. Based at UC Davis, this team was founded in 1994 and currently has 90 members. LAVA talked with current UC Davis triathlon team president, Cathy Broderick ,about the past and future of the club, and we got the scoop on the team’s favorite rides and pre-race rituals.
LAVA: Tell us a little bit about the breakdown of the UC Davis triathlon team.
Well, our club has been around since 1994, but when it started it was mostly graduate students. That has really changed over the years. Now, it is actually 80 percent undergraduates and 20 percent graduate students. We have members in law school and medical school, but I’d say the majority of our members are studying engineering, exercise physiology and other sciences. It’s a pretty broad mix of everything.
LAVA: With so many different majors and class schedules, how do you organize your workouts?
It’s an interesting set up. The team has a professional coach, John Hanson, and he meets with us on Tuesdays for a swim and run workout and then again on Thursdays for a longer run or bike workout. Other than that, we have an online workout schedule planned around our upcoming races that is created by him and coached by students. Based on Hanson’s training calendar, the student coaches and other members of the team will post workouts and we can keep track of what one another are doing and meet up according to our own school schedules. We have pool lanes scheduled every day of the week and there is a different member who leads them every day.
LAVA: What races is the team focused on right now?
Right now, our biggest focus is the USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals, which are on April 4-5 in Tempe, Ariz. We also have ea lot of people doing Wildflower in May; we have members racing both the Olympic and the half distance. In early March we had 35 teammates compete in the Stanford Treeathlon. We did very well and had some top-five finishes in the collegiate race.
LAVA: You’ve been a member of the club since you were a freshman. What is your favorite thing about it?
One of the best things about our club is that it can be as serious or as fun as you like. We have people who go pro after college and they are very serious competitors, but we also have people who are there just to keep fit and make friends.
LAVA: What are some of your social activities?
We have two social coordinators so they plan a lot of events. We have a social BBQ every fall, a Halloween corn maize and corn race because we’re in Davis and there are a lot of cornfields. We also take a few trips every year like a camping trip in Folsom where we do some good training, and then in the off-season we head over to Lake Tahoe and go skiing together as well.
LAVA: Any pre-race rituals that the UC Davis triathlon team swears by?
We usually eat together before hand, the night before the race. For Nationals, we give each other Mohawks, well the girls don’t do that but the boys do. I was thinking about doing it this year because it’s my last year. We also have traditions, like at the end of the year we have paper plate awards, which is our form of a banquet. We give out paper plates to everyone with something funny written on them. For example, I once set my alarm late during Nationals and I received one that read: “Is the princess up yet?” This year I got “not-so-silent but deadly” because apparently I am rather chatty on group rides.
LAVA: With all of that farmland and country roads there must be a lot of good riding for you guys in Davis. What are the team’s favorite group rides?
A well-known ride we do is called Winters, because that’s the town it goes to, it’s basically a loop out to Winters and back. We also have a ride called “cardiac,” it’s a 60-mile, really hilly ride up toward Lake Berryessa. The the highest achievement around here is to ride Mix Canyon Road, which has the steepest mile of paved road in California, and we’ll do that one after Wildflower when people are looking for a good end of the year ride to push themselves.
Stay tuned next month our May Tri Club Spotlight. Want more LAVA news, promos and exclusive content? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter HERE.