Juggling duo sets sites on triathlon world recordFor the past year, Bob and Trish Evans have taken a hiatus from their teaching jobs in Arizona to travel the United States. They’ve gone from state to state performing their acrobatics routine and have won races in 11 different states — all while juggling, of course.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
New events are constantly being added to the Summer Olympic Games. In 2000, it was trampoline. In 2008, BMX cycling took the Olympic stage.
In 2020, perhaps the International Olympic Committee will shock the world with a brand new entry: swuggling.
The strange sport — swimming while juggling — is the latest endeavor of Bob and Trish Evans.
For the past year, Bob and Trish Evans have taken a hiatus from their teaching jobs in Arizona to travel the United States. They’ve gone from state to state performing their acrobatics routine and have won races in 11 different states — all while juggling, of course.
Now the Evanses are joining in the Olympic Spirit by attempting their first juggling triathlon.
The couple will swuggle, joggle and unicycle as they attempt the Panther Pride Triathlon on Aug. 11 in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Their goal is to raise $20,000 for Special Olympics (USA).
“Swimming, unicycling and running while juggling generates a lot of attention and conversation,” Trish Evans said. “Our goal is to reflect that attention away from us and towards a worthy cause like the Special Olympics.”
“It’s a fun, mind-body challenge for a good cause,” Bob Evans said. “As high school teachers, we have worked with many special needs students and we have also had the honor of volunteering with a Special Olympics basketball team. The Special Olympics organization does great work and we want to help them continue to share their work with more and more athletes.”
The couple will also make history if successful.
Trish Evans (Weyandt) would become the first woman to juggle a complete triathlon. She is originally from Iron River and graduated from Northwestern High School in 2003.
Bob Evans would go down as the first man to finish a triathlon while juggling three balls. A Florida man recently juggled a triathlon, but he juggled only two balls while cycling.
Both Trish and Bob Evans are already recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records. Trish Evans set a new world record in women’s 5K joggling (juggling while jogging) in 2011 and also set world record marks in 800- and 200-meter joggling with three balls. Later in the year she lowered her record time in 5K joggling to 19 minutes, 46 seconds and added a 10K record at 42:53.
Bob Evans toppled the longstanding men’s 5K joggling record in Tennessee in October 2011. He finished in 16:42 while juggling three balls and also set a record 35:38 mark for the men’s 10K.
“Most fellow runners and spectators really enjoy seeing us joggle, even if we pass them,” Bob Evans said. “We’ve had some people call us ‘show-offs,’ but once they realize how much training we do and our mission to use the attention we receive for good causes, they usually appreciate our efforts.”
Before making their triathlon attempt, Bob and Trish Evans will have a chance to watch the Olympians in London. This year’s event begins with the women’s triathlon Saturday, followed by the men’s competition Tuesday.
Olympic athletes swim a 1,500 meter course, bike 43 km (about 27 miles) and finish with a 10 km run (6.25 miles). Bob and Trish Evans won’t cover quite that distance, but they’ll face the added challenge of juggling three balls through every segment of their triathlon.
The couple will “swuggle” 300 meters and then switch over to the cycling portion of the race, which they will cover on unicycles. They’ll ride 24 kilometers (15 miles) on their unicycles before they finish up the triathlon with a 5-kilometer run.
Both athletes have trained extensively for the race, but they still expect a challenge. After all, swimming and simultaneously juggling three balls is not an easy feat.
“Basically you are on your back, flutter kicking like crazy, and juggling right over your face,” Bob Evans said.
The second leg of the race, cycling, provides its own challenges because of the long distance covered.
“The unicycle for 15 miles will also be tough,” Bob said. “We are using 36-inch wheels, so we cruise pretty fast — around 10 mph — but on a unicycle there is no ‘coasting’ and the saddle sore from sitting on a unicycle for an hour and a half is brutal.”
The Evanses make their juggling triathlon attempt on Aug. 11. Those interested in donating or learning more about the couple’s adventures can visit www.trijuggle.com. All proceeds go to the Special Olympics.