If you are an aspiring triathlete or just someone seeking a low-key, late-winter challenge, the Indiana University Swim Club may have just what you need.

Athletes who participate in the March 5 IU Swim Club Indoor Triathlon will swim, bike, and run indoors in the safe, controlled environment of the IU Student Recreational Sports Center. The annual event typically attracts about 700 participants.

“We like that it’s a great way to try a triathlon without a lot of stress,” says Bill Ramos, Swim Club faculty adviser and IU School of Public Health assistant professor. Participants use the center’s pool, stationary bikes, and track.

Ramos says the triathlon attracts many people who want to see if they can successfully compete indoors before trying an outdoor triathlon. But the event also attracts experienced triathletes wanting an incentive to keep in shape for outdoor events.

“We draw more adults from the Bloomington community than on campus,” he says. “We get a pretty wide range of ages and abilities.”

Two triathlons of different distances are featured. The Cream Race is a typical sprint triathlon where participants swim 600 yards, bike eight miles, and run three miles. The Crimson Race is easier, where participants swim 300 yards, bike five miles, and run one mile.

Kate McCormick, 30, who swam for Bloomington High School South and the Counsilman Center Indiana Swim Team, has participated in the triathlon for the last two years and plans to do it again this year. A strong swimmer, she’s trying to improve her road biking and running. “For me, to stay healthy and in shape, an important component is being competitive,” McCormick says. “I saw this as a perfect entry point to see if I could be successful in completing one.”

Anyone 18 years and older in the IU, Bloomington, Indianapolis, and surrounding communities can participate for a fee, either as an individual or on a two- or three-member team. Proceeds support the swim club, whose members compete in Indiana and elsewhere. For more information, visit