Becoming a triathlete

KSC first year triathlete qualifies for Nationals

A half-mile swim, 15-mile bike ride and a three-mile run, a sprint triathlon is just the beginning for one KSC student who has dreams of winning a national race next summer.

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

KSC first year Aiden Jasmin woke up one morning this summer determined to run a triathlon that was just two weeks away. He had never trained for this type of event before, but had a passion for biking and running. He knew if he set his mind to it, he could do it.

“He’s a really cool person. He’s the type of person who wakes up and says, ‘In two weeks, I’m going to do a triathlon,’ and do it and do well,” said his mother, Heather Jasmin.

Aiden’s parents got him a bike for his high school graduation present. Aiden said he quickly picked up biking, and not only was he good, but he really enjoyed it.

Heather said that for a few weeks, Aiden was talking about doing biking races and then all of a sudden, he just picked a triathlon race that was two weeks away and started training.

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

“One day, he just said, ‘I think I’m going to do a triathlon,’” said Heather, “and we said, ‘Well that’s a great idea, but you’ve never swam,’ and he said, ‘I can practice.’ So we would go out and practice with him. We live near a lake, so we would go out and the first few times he was like, ‘You’re right, I can’t do this,’ but he kept at it.”

Heather said that this is not a new mind-set for Aiden. “He was like 14 and one day he said, ‘I think I’m gonna go on a run,’ and he had never been before and when he got back, I was like, “You were gone a long time,” and he said he had run to the town over and back. So I got in the car and measured it and it was about seven miles and he had never run before.”

First-year student at St. Lawrence University Matt Manwaring said him and Aiden were running buddies in high school. Manwaring had run a few triathlons before convincing Aiden to compete in the Surry race with him.

“He’s a pretty strong athlete. It takes a lot,” said Manwaring. “He comes out of a decent swim and you never know what to expect with his biking and running because he can really go.”

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

Over the course of the summer, Aiden competed in four triathlons. In a race he ran in Lowell, he qualified for the National Olympic Triathlon next summer. If he comes in the top 20 in his age group for that race, he could be on his way to International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships in Switzerland.  Aiden played sports growing up, his mother said, and he ran in high school, but she never thought he would go on to be such a high-performing triathlon runner. She said she is so proud of him.

As far as training goes for Aiden, he said he likes how every day is a little different. He said, “Mainly, it’s going to be a lot of swimming and running. Right now, I’m the best in biking, so I’m going to focus on the things that are going to get me to compete with the more elite athletes in the country.” The next race he runs will be an Olympic length triathlon, consisting of a 0.93 mile swim, a 24.8 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run.

His mom worked with him at Keene State College over the summer. “He would bike home,” she said. “He would work eight hours and then bike home and it’s not a nice 17 miles, it’s all uphill.”

All the training is worth it though, Aiden said. “It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy it. It’s different than other sports because every day you get to train with something different. Today it was running. Tomorrow it will be biking,” Aiden said.

Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at asalerno@kscequinox.com

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