Webster Leiden Students Earn Third Place in Alphen Triathlon

Webster University Running Club members who participated in the Alphen Triathlon: from left to right, Michel Decrock, Marin Gavca, and Zana Udo.

The Webster Leiden Campus Running Club, founded in April 2023, consists of only four members. Despite their small group size, this club is mighty – recently taking home the third-place trophy at the Alphen Triathlon, where they competed against 17 other teams. What drives this group to achieve such lofty goals? Their limitless ambition and their perspective on teamwork.  

The Alphen Triathlon is comprised of three components: a 1,000m swim, 42km cycle, and 10km run. The triathlon represents the beauty of the Netherlands, with each element of the course showcasing a different part of the land. The swimming portion of the race takes place in a lake surrounded by stunning landscapes. The biking course brings participants into the stunning fields of the countryside. The running course gives participants a chance to enjoy the scenery of the Netherlands and pass by a town with rich cultural history. 

The different elements of the triathlon require groups, like the Webster Leiden Campus Running Club, to rely on each other’s abilities if they are to succeed. 

“The Alphen Triathlon was not just a race; it was a journey of teamwork and personal achievement,” said Zana Udo, who completed the 1,000m swim portion of the triathlon in 17:47 minutes. “Swimming in our first triathlon was an exhilarating experience, and taking third place made it even more amazing.” 

Each member of the Webster Leiden Campus Running Club specializes in a particular area of the triathlon: for Udo, that was swimming. Webster Leiden student Michel Decrock, who completed the 42km cycle portion of the triathlon in one hour, has an extensive history of cycling competitively. The same is true in the arena of long-distance running for Webster Leiden student Marin Gavca, who completed the 10km running portion of the triathlon in 42:09 minutes.  

Although the Alphen Triathlon is over, the team continues to train in their respective disciplines every day. They hope to encourage the Webster community to engage in activities that lead to better physical and mental health. While that is their main focus, it’s hard not to take notice of the focus on teamwork that has led to this group’s success. Evidently, their example of collaboration should be another takeaway for Webster Leiden students.  

“I was pleased to see how the team unified and faced this challenge with the best of determination,” attested Decrock, when speaking to the group’s participation in the triathlon.  

Gavca echoed this sentiment, citing how both the support of a team and friends can go a long way.

“The Alphen triathlon taught us the immeasurable value of teamwork and the unwavering support of friends, reminding us never to underestimate their true worth.”

Fellow Webster Leiden students came to the event to support the Running Club at their first triathlon.

Fellow Webster Leiden students came to the event to support the Running Club at their first triathlon. 

The Webster Leiden Running Club is already training for its next competition. As they look forward to the challenges yet to come, it’s no doubt that with a little teamwork, they will continue to make history – and inspire others along the way. 

Udo, Gavca, and Decrock stand on the third place podium after finishing the triathlon.

Udo, Gavca, and Decrock stand on the third place podium after finishing the triathlon. 

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