“Runners to your mark, get set, BANG!” It’s the start of the race. Quinnipiac University sophomore Matthew Cayer paces himself as he embarks on the three-mile run.
This was not the only event on that sweltering late-August day. The Wild Dog Triathlon also featured a quarter-mile swim and an 11.6 mile bicycle race. The triathlon brought athletes from all over southern New England to Jamestown, R.I., after months of vigorous training.
“I trained for three months for the Wild Dog,” said Cayer, 19, who is tall, slender, and has black hair. “I had to discipline myself for the entire summer.”
The Bridgewater, Mass., native followed a strict routine which included running four times a week, swimming three days a week, five days a week on the bike, and a stringent diet which trimmed his weight by 25 pounds.
Cayer, a diagnostic imaging major, finished the triathlon with an overall time of 1:20:29 which was the fifth best out of 18 participants in the Males 19 and Under Category. This time included splits of 4:40 for swimming, 43:54 for the bike ride, and 31:54 for the running section.
“Swimming in the ocean was definitely the hardest part of the day,” said Cayer, clearly annoyed, in his eastern Massachusetts accent. “It was wicked tough because of all the other people trying to swim over you and grabbing your ankles. The waves also made it hard to breathe.”
The triathlon occurred within a week of his return to Quinnipiac. He saw this as an opportunity to get in shape for the new school year. He planned to continue his training by utilizing the school’s gym in the Athletic Center and running on a daily basis.
Cayer had to sacrifice some social activities and vacation time in order to ensure adequate training that would improve his time. Giving into the temptation of going out with friends every night would distract him from his focus and hurt his time on the day of the events. He also had to balance his training time with his summer job as a golf instructor.
“Training was hard because I had to stay persistent throughout the whole summer,” he said. “All in all, it was worth it. It kept me in shape and out of trouble for the most part,” he said with a grin.