Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 27, 1986
By JERRY MUTH
It takes a different kind of person to
think swimming 2.4 miles, biking for
112 miles and then runnnig 26.2 miles is
enjoyable. But then again, a triathlete
is of a unique breed.
In an age when, the nation's sports
pages seem to be centered on the drug
controversies, revenue problems and
player contract holdouts, it's
refreshing to come across a group of
athletes who compete to extend their
own physical and mental limits. Such
is the nature of the triathlete, par-
ticularly those in the new Univesity of
Michigan Triathlon Club.
AS CLUB member and President
Bill Grady said, "triathletes are just
interested in the sport for the sport it-'
self and not the recognition.
Or as Natural Resources junior
John Houseal said, the triathlete
defines a new breed of athlete because
the triathlon is a new sport. "It incor-
porates three different sports - it's a
whole new type of training and
athlete." To LS&A senior Larry
Wiland, however, the triathlete is
special only in the sense that there's
commitment to three different
disciplines and "a dedication of fit-
ness in general." The triathlete, ac-
cording to Wiland, is "the epitome of
the endurance athlete."
Most people would probably con-
sider the triathlete the epitome of-
something else. Wiland, for one, views
triathlons as a chance not so much to
compete with other people as an op-
portunity to compete with himself.
seems to carve itself into the mold of
the triathlete: camaraderie. "People
aren't concerned solely with their in-
dividual performances," Houseal
And yet when one considers the in-
petition, consists of a 2.4 mile swim,
112 mile bike race and a marathon
run. Competitions like the Bud Light,
meanwhile, have a 1.5 kilometer swim
a 40 kilometer bike race and a 10k run,
said Bill Grady.
For most of the club athletes, the
triathlon seems to be a natural exten-
sion of one of the sports they par-
ticipated in during high school. "The
triathlon is an interesting sport," con-
tinued Grady, "because there's so
much variety." It gets boring doing
one particular thing, he added.
OTHERS, LIKE grad student and
world-ranked triathlete Dave Evans,
started competing in triathlons for
therapeutic reasons. Evans, who
finished seventh in the 1984 Hawaiian
Ironman, opted for triathlons as a
way to rehabilitate a knee he injured
in an automobile accident.
Contrary to popular belief, Evans
said, "the sport is not just for the
weirdest and zaniest. The sport is ac-
tually quite easy." Like Grady and
Wiland, Evans believes the variety in
the sport makes training fun and he
claims that swimming, biking and
running are "three fundamental spor-
ts that everyone can do."
Another reason the triathlon isn't as
physically exhausting as most people
think, according to Evans, is the fact
that each individual sport uses a dif-
ferent set of muscle groups. The
Kinesiology major says that he ac-
tually feels better after competing in
a shorter triathlon than after running
marathon, where the demands of the
race are made entirely on one part of
the body's muscle groups.
The club triathletes seem to agree,
though, that the triathlon is more
than just another youth sport. The
average age of the triathlete is 39, ac-
cording to Bill Grady. "It's definitely
a lifetime sport," he says. Wiland also
agrees with those sentiments but sees
the triathlon as more of a commit-
ment to lifetime fitness than anything
else. Ringler says, "It'd be neat to do
as a grandmother."
Families seem to be supportive of
the somewhat offbeat dedication of
the triathlete. Ringler says her
mother loves it and really got in-
terested in triathlons as a spectator
sport. Wiland, however, claims, "I
don't know if they quite understand
my attraction to it...but they didn't
dividuality in training for a triathlon,
the camaraderie seems somewhat
ironic. Nevertheless, the response to
the University's Triathlon Club
meetings have been good so far, ac-
cording to Wiland, the club's
secretary. Anywhere from 20 to 35
people have shown up at the club's
most recent meetings, Wiland con-
tinued. He claims he's most excited
about the number of people joining the
club who seem "really fired up."
This spring and summer, the team
plans to compete in a number of local
contests, including the Ann Arbor
Triathlon in mid June. More im-
mediately the team has set its sites on
an April 26 triathlon the University of
Illinois has billed as the "'National
Collegiate Championship Triathlon."
THE CLUB members are also plan-
ning to hit the Bud Light Triathlon in
Detroit which is held near the end of
the summer, according to Bill Grady,
whose twin brother Rich is the club's
.Not all triathlons are the same
distance, however. An ultra triathlon,
like the Hawaiian Ironman com-
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Triathlete John Houseal of the Triathlon Club stretches out in preparation
for an afternoon run. Houseal and club members are training for local
triathlons being held this summer.
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HOUSTON (AP) - Iowa's basket-
ball coach George Raveling will not
become the head coach at the Univer-
sity of Houston, according to a
Raveling is expected to take the
basketball coaching post at the
University of Southern California. His
decision to take the Trojans' job over
UH is believed to be based partially on
his previous 11 years at Washington
State, also a Pacific 10 conference
member, the Chronicle reported.
The Houston Chronicle reported
Wednesday that Raveling met with
Houston officials Tuesday for the
second time. A source in the Iowa
athletic department told the
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newspaper that Raveling informed
Houston officials of his decision late
But Jay Goldberg, UH sports in-
formaton director, said Wednesday,
"I have nothing official on that (but)
it wouldn't surprise me." Asked if a
replacement for the retired Guy
Lewis would be named this week,
Goldberg said, "I sure hope so. But
there's nothing I can say."
Pitt, BC name coaches
From wire reports
Pittsburgh and Boston College, two
Big East rivals, filled their basketball
coaching voids yesterday by naming
successors. Paul Evans will run Pit-
tsburgh's program, while Jim
O'Brien takes over the coaching job of
the Golden Eagles.
Evans was courted by a number of
schools this year while leading Navy
to its best season ever. He finally
signed with the Panthers for four
years for a reported $800,000.
.O'Brien, who leaves the St.
Bonaventure coaching job, returns to
his alma mater. He served as team
captain in 1970-71 and ranks 10th on
Boston College's all-time scoring list.
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