Novis Travels to Budapest, Places Third in World Aquathlon

While most students were busy packing for the new school year, Austen Novis ’11 traveled to Budapest, Hungary to participate in the DEXTRO Energy International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships Grand Final, also known as the World Aquathlon and World Triathlon Championships. Novis placed third in the World Aquathlon and seventh in the World Triathlon Championships. Novis said, “I was pretty surprised by my results. I felt like I did well in both the Triathlon and the Aquathlon. I felt especially good in the second half of the Aquathlon when I passed ahead of a bunch of people.” When Novis was eight, his dad began participating in triathlons, eventually inspiring him to take part in triathlons. “[My dad] kind of encouraged me to try them and once I tried doing a triathlon I really liked it and wanted to continue. I kept doing them, and every year I try to do a couple more,” said Novis. When Novis joined Andover, however, he initially wanted to play soccer and lacrosse and swim instead of pursuing triathlon sports. “I came to Andover and I tried a few sports and I remembered I really liked doing triathlons so I started doing triathlons more and joined the cycling, cross country and waterpolo team,” said Novis. Novis said that he will continue to approach sports at Andover the same way he has prior to competing. However, his training for the World Triathlon was different from his training on campus because he primarily trained by himself. According to Novis, preparation for the World Triathlon was more time consuming than sports practices at Andover. While sports practices usually last around an hour and a half, Novis averaged up to four hours a day of training this summer. “I was also on the swim team which was two hours a day, and biking and running on my own.” he continued. The US National Team recruited Novis for the World Triathlon after he ranked among the top ten US Junior athletes. 4000 participants from around the world came to the World Aquathlon and World Triathlon, which lasted from September 8 to September 12, 2010. The championships were the final rounds in a series of World Triathlons held throughout the summer. Novis first competed and won third place in the World Aquathlon. Held a few days before the World Triathalon, the World Aquathlon Championships consisted of a 2.5 kilometer run, 1000-meter swim and another 2.5 kilometer run. When Novis competed, race administrators canceled the second running portion of the event due to low water temperatures and overcast skies. Novis finished the first running portion with a time of 8:37 minutes. Novis said he appreciated the reduced distance since “by the time you got tired, you finished.” For the World Triathlon, Novis swam 750 meters, biked 20 kilometers and ran five kilometers. He placed seventh. Novis looks back on his time in Budapest fondly, remembering the teams’ experiences. “The first night [in Budapest] was pretty rough because [the US National Team] got lost, we couldn’t find the hotel, and nobody could speak English. We walked like five miles trying to find it but after that it was great,” said Novis. Novis also felt that the competition was a great opportunity to meet athletes from around he world. He remembered seeing runners from all over the world as he approached the final stretch of the World Triathlon. “It was pretty cool because everyone was wearing their uniform and had their numbers so I could see all these people from different countries around me,” said Novis. “[Participating in the triathlon] was a lot of fun, because [Budapest] was a pretty small city. So you could see all the teams from different countries walking around the city and talk with them, most of who spoke English,” he continued. Novis qualified for the World Triathlon in early March, and participated for the first time this year. Novis hopes to attend next year’s World Triathlon, which will be held in Beijing, China.