The competitors for the biathlon are divided into 10 different divisions based on gender, involvement as a team or as an individual, and differentiation between varsity athletes and non-varsity participants to accommodate for the wide range of skill level, Novak said. The safety precautions set in place by RecSports, the Notre Dame Fire Department, and the Sailing Club include boats, lifeguards and medical personnel ready for emergencies, Novak said. “A lot of people know about the race and look forward to it every year,” RecSports program coordinator Tim Novak said. Junior Laura Philipp won the individual women’s division in 2008 and 2009. As the academic year begins, RecSports will host its annual biathlon Saturday morning to kick off a year of athletic events to provide refuge outside of class for active students on campus. Competitors will swim a half-mile in St. Joseph lake and then proceed to a two-mile trail around both campus lakes. Teams of two can split these sections of the race between the individuals. The feeling of confidence after completing the biathlon is valuable especially for new competitors, Novak said. Novak said the biathlon helps RecSports coordinators back into “the race mentality” after the less eventful summer season. “As a freshman, seeing information on the biathlon just made me realize that there were a lot of different RecSports events,” she said. “It opened me up to different athletic events on campus.” “The biathlon is an event to kick of our year and get people aware of our programs,” Novak said. “We especially use the biathlon to encourage people to compete in the Domer Run, which is much larger and reaches out to a larger number of people.” Philipp said she appreciated that the biathlon gives individuals a chance to race and compete outside of many of the team activities also hosted through RecSports. From the first biathlon in 1999, RecSports has continued to use the event to welcome the Notre Dame community back at the beginning of the academic year, Novak said. “This is really friendly towards all levels of ability,” Skube said. “I do not get a feeling that everyone is out to win it. … Everyone just wants to go out and have fun.” “We get a lot of encouraging feedback from people who did not think they would be able to complete it,” Novak said. “The swim is the more daunting task to most people.” “It is a pretty great event to open up the school year,” physical education faculty member Josh Skube said. “RecSports does a really nice job.” Students and other members of the Notre Dame community can participate in the Domer Run on Sept. 18 to benefit cancer awareness and research, according to the RecSports website. Skube won the individual men’s non-varsity division in 2009. He said that even though the event is well supported by the varsity swim team it is still open to competitors at all stages of experience. Novak said that any anxiety about competitors’ safety during the race has been thoroughly addressed by RecSports in its preparation. Free registration especially entices students and other members of the Notre Dame community to participate, he said. Registration for the biathlon is free and available online at recsports.nd.edu or at the St. Joseph Beach beginning at 9 a.m. the day of the event. The race begins at 10:30 a.m. “The only real complaint we ever have is that the lake water is a little cold,” Novak said. “And we cannot really change that so I think we do alright.”
Richards – a 13-time England international – won two league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup with City but last featured for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in a home defeat to Wigan in March 2014. Losing FA Cup finalists Villa, now managed by Tim Sherwood, are keen to bolster their defensive options after conceding 57 league goals during the 2014-15 season – a campaign which saw them escape relegation by only three points. The former Manchester City right-back, who spent last season on loan with Serie A club Fiorentina, is a free agent after leaving the Etihad Stadium. It is understood Villa have offered the 26-year-old an opportunity to revive his career in the Barclays Premier League. Press Association Micah Richards is inching closer to becoming Aston Villa’s first signing of the summer, Press Association Sport understands.