Published Sept. 25, 2013
Springfield, Ohio — A new tradition that incorporates fun, fitness and fundraising for scholarships takes place Homecoming Weekend as Wittenberg hosts the third annual Tiger Tri, starting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the HPER Center, 250 Bill Edwards Drive.
The Tiger Tri is a mini-triathlon that starts with a 400-yard swim in Wittenberg’s Natatorium, transitions to a 15-mile bike course at nearby Buck Creek State Park and ends with a 3.6-mile run around campus and the adjacent neighborhood. The cost is $40 per person to participate, $25 for students and military members, or $68 for a relay team of two or three individuals, with each person completing a different portion of the race. All proceeds raised go to scholarships for Wittenberg students.
Jade Gianakopoulos, class of 1995, originally participated in the Wittenberg University Triathlon for Alumni, but she felt there needed to be a better way to connect the Wittenberg and the Springfield community. She then came up with the idea to start the Tiger Tri, which debuted in 2011 and is open to the public.
Tiger Tri has included approximately 150 participants in each of the first two years, with more than $20,000 raised to benefit Wittenberg students. Gianakopoulos said the event is open to everyone, regardless of athletic ability, with more than half of the runners in 2011 being first-time participants in such an event. She also allays any fears about safety, saying that the courses are “very safe, well-marked, and very well supported.”
The Tiger Tri is organized completely by volunteers, including both Wittenberg alumni and community members. The Junior Rotary at Wittenberg as well as the Springfield High School Rotary Club help set up for the event as well, and Gianakopoulos said Wittenberg’s police officers do an outstanding job of keeping the race running smoothly.
Orthopedic Surgeon Tim Kremchek, class of 1981, generously sponsored the race for the first two years and was able to kickstart this new tradition. Sponsors in 2013 include Payton Plumbing, Ascension Sports Partners, Brower Insurance Agency, Springfield Cardiology, Becker Electric, the A. Gianakopoulos family, Speedway, Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Wittenberg, Rudy’s Barbeque, Foreman-Blair, Kapp Construction and the MacRay Company. Additional sponsors are welcomed to get involved.
Participants may pre-register at www.wittenberg.edu/tigertri. Registration and packet pack-up will take place at the front desk of the HPER Center Legends Lobby from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and 8:30-10 a.m. the morning of the race. All those who pre-register will receive a gift bag, and the top three male and female finishers in the race will earn cash prizes. For more information, contact Gianakopoulos via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Jenny Klose ‘15