Some college students may like to sleep for 15 hours on a Saturday. But for triathlete Shannon Glenn, the day is best spent swimming, biking and running – and not just a little.
Glenn, president of TriCanes – the UM triathlon club – participates in Ironman competitions. The grueling sport includes swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles in a daylong event.
“After the Ironman [last year in New York City], every single part of my body hurt,” Glenn said with a smile. “It was the most physically and emotionally challenging thing I’ve done, but it was worth it, absolutely.”
Her devotion and commitment to the UM club and the sport itself have earned praise from her advisor.
“Shannon is a tremendous president for the TriCanes,” said Connie Nickel, assistant director of recreational sports and camp at the Wellness Center. “She is passionate about the sport and is very organized; hence, the club is organized, and she is a superb leader.”
Junior Corinne Rainey, who was in New York to watch Glenn compete, said watching her cross the finish line made all the training worthwhile.
Glenn, who lives near St. Petersburg, is a biology major in the honors program in medicine, where students can earn both a B.S. and M.D. degrees in seven or eight years. She aspires to be a pediatrician or sports medicine physician.
“I think the best doctors are the ones that know what it’s like to be on the other side,” she said. “And if you can understand the patient … you have a much greater ability to help them.”
Triathlons were not Glenn’s original sport of interest.
“I got cut from a co-ed basketball team in high school because they didn’t want a girl on the team,” she said.
Instead, she started sprinting for her high school, and later registered for a triathlon as a new way to meet people and compete.
One of the hardest challenges was to balance training for a long-distance race while her friends were coaxing her to go out.
“My greatest achievement was crossing the finish line at the Ironman,” Glenn said. “I trained a year for the race and spent so many hours devoted to it. Now I’m trying to figure out which one I’m going to do next.”