Hall director completes 140-mile triathlon

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    A member of the Horned Frog family has successfully completed a feat unimaginable for some.

    Evan Saperstein is a Hall Director in Samuelson Hall and Carter Hall. He completed his first Ironman Triathlon in Tempe, AZ, Nov. 16. 

    An Ironman is a one-day sporting event that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run- 26.2 miles. That is a total of 140.6 miles of non-stop athleticism. 

    Saperstein completed the event in 11 hours 13 minutes and 55 seconds, but his preparation for the race took a lot longer than that. 

    He trained every day for months before the Ironman. As the event date drew closer, his training intensified. When he had just a few weeks left, Saperstein said he was riding his bike up to 5 hours a day in preparation. 

    Even on his ‘rest days,’ Saperstein still trained, just at a slower pace or shortened distance. 

    He said he trained by running outdoors on the Trinity Trails and biking on roads towards Weatherford. If the weather outdoors was not suitable for training, he practiced in an indoor facility with his coach. He said the indoor facility has device to hook the back tire of his bike up to a computer that changes the resistance of his peddling. 

    Saperstein arrived in Arizona days before the Ironman. 

    “The event was on a Sunday and I got there on Tuesday night,” he said. “I relaxed for the next two days until check-in on Thursday.”

    He said the nutrition aspect of preparation started on Thursday night. Then on Friday the athletes had a biking practice to ensure that their bikes worked properly. 

    “I actually got a flat tire on the practice day,” Saperstein said. “It was a huge debacle because my bike has specific tires that have to be glued to the rim and the glue takes 24 hours to cure. I didn’t know if it was going be ready in time.”

    He said he had to turn in his bike on Saturday and hope for the best. 

    On race day, Saperstein actually walked from the house he was staying at to the starting line. 

    “The race was only a mile and a half away from my friend’s house,” he said. “I thought it was a good warm up.”

    Saperstein said he has participated in more than 20 triathlons of various distances. 

    His love for the sport developed by accident.

    “I signed up for my first triathlon under the impression that my friend and I were going to do it together,” he said. “My friend ended up backing out and I did it alone. After I completed my first [triathlon] I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere.”

    Saperstein is also the coach for the TCU Triathlon Club: Tri Frogs. The club currently has 15 members that train together on campus by doing group runs, group swims, and group spin classes. 

    He said he plans to do another Ironman someday, but he does not know when.