Training is hard. Winning is worth it.

This is what CPTri is up against.

Meet Devin

Devin Volk is one of the team's top athletes.

Devin Volk puts on his game face before leaving for a race early on the morning of Saturday, January 24th.  A second-year biology major from Corvallis, Oregon, he’s the top athlete for the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo triathlon team.  “He joined the team as a freshman and ever since has completely immersed himself in the sport of triathlon. If you ask him a question about training, nutrition, equipment, pro racers.... anything triathlon, he could give you a pretty dang good answer,” says Becca Brookes, the team’s president. Early morning light hits the team as it meets at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo at 8 a.m. on Saturday before a duathlon.  A run-bike-run event, the duathlon is a way for the triathletes to track their progress in training for upcoming races.  “Usually, weekends for me are wake up, go to practice, come back, refuel, eat a lot of food, hit the books, try to relax.  Then the next morning comes, repeat,” says Volk. Sean Sullivan, at left, a third-year biology major and the student bike coach, chats with Isaac Blundell, a second-year aerospace engineering major, as he powers up in preparation for the race.  Blundell achieved the fastest bike time of the day, despite losing one of his handlebars within the first 500 feet of the ride.  Equipment malfunctions are one of the triathlete’s worst fears: “Having your equipment not functioning properly can be very frustrating, and focusing on it too much can be detrimental to your performance,” says Blundell. Volk departs on his sleek, highly aerodynamic bicycle built specifically for triathletes.  The specialized bike definitely did him well: he won first place in the race on Saturday, despite the fact that he was neck-to-neck with the second place contender the whole time.  “A lot of the triathlon is not about how fast you are, but how much pain you’re willing to put yourself into, and how long you can hold that pace more than your pure physical ability,” says Volk. Volk and his teammates warm up on the intramural sports field at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo on the evening of Sunday, January 25th.  The triathletes play intramural soccer together not only to stay active, but also to bond as a team.  A light-hearted game of soccer is just what they need after a long weekend of tough physical and mental exertion.

The Challenges

Cal Poly triathletes must face multiple obstacles and challenges throughout their season, whether it's during training or in the middle of a race.