On August 11th (2012), Bob and Trish Evans, teachers and performers, became the first people to complete a triathlon while juggling 3 balls the whole way. This was an epic effort to raise money for Special Olympics programs in the United States. Interested donors can still help through TriJuggle.com. Here’s their firsthand account of the triathlon experience:
SETTING THE GOAL
The idea of juggling through a triathlon had been brewing in our minds for the last couple years. When we sat down last December to review 2011 and set goals for 2012, we decided it was finally time to go for the triathlon juggling. In the previous year we had both worked really hard to beat the women’s and men’s Guinness world records for fastest 5K while juggling three balls (Trish- 19:46, Bob- 16:34) and now we were ready for a new challenge.
Right away in December we added two days of pool training to our weekly training routine because we knew swuggling (swimming and juggling) was going to be the hardest part. We also replaced our long run on Thursday with a long unicycle ride. The unicycles we use have big 36” wheels that allow you to go up to 9-14 mph. We kept our running mileage around 20-25 miles per week and mixed in some elliptical and strength training. We also continued to joggle (run and juggle) many weekend races.
FINDING A TRIATHLON
The next step was finding a triathlon that would be willing to let us juggle through the event and use unicycles instead of bikes. We also wanted to find a pool swim. After a few phone calls, we found a triathlon director who enthusiastically welcomed us to his triathlon in Iowa Falls, IA. The Panther Pride Triathlon is a sprint triathlon with a 300-meter pool swim, 15-mile bike and a 5K run. This seemed like the perfect place to conquer the triathlon juggling challenge.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Now we know from experience that juggling through races draws a lot of attention and we knew this would be especially true for the triathlon. We wanted to use that attention for something good. After a lot of thought, we chose to raise money for Special Olympics. In our years as high school teachers, we have both developed close bonds with students with special needs and we have seen the power that Special Olympics programs can have on people’s lives. We set up a website to collect donations: TriJuggle.com.
After months of training we were more-than-ready when race day came along and we were able to thoroughly enjoy the experience. We loved wearing our My Race Ragz jerseys. We are always amazed at the quality of the shirts. When we think homemade shirts, the immediate image that comes to mind is an uncomfortably thick white cotton tee and some puffy paint or Sharpies, but My Race Ragz is quickly changing that image for us. Our growing collection of My Race Ragz gear is on the same level with any of our high-performance racing/training apparel. We love it.
A BIG SUCCESS
Overall, the triathlon juggling challenge was a big success. The community of Iowa Falls, the race director and our fellow racers welcomed us warmly and were generous in many ways on race day. For the fundraising, people have responded well as we have currently collected $3,275 for Special Olympics. We are really grateful for the generous team at My Race Ragz and for all the people that have supported us through our adventures. Thank you.
Final Travel “Year” Stats (8/28/2011 to 9/1/2012)
- on August 28th (2011), we decided to take a year-off from our high school teaching jobs and enjoy a U.S. road trip tour
- In the past year, we’ve raced 33 times in 21 different states, won in 12 states
- put over 37,000 miles on the car (“Gary”)
- Trish’s fastest 5K (19:46) was in Philadelphia on October 2nd, 2011 and Bob’s fastest 5K (16:34) was in Indianapolis on June 23rd, 2012