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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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In Sports

Bob Evans running in the Capuchin Run/Walk for the Hungry. (Photo: Bill Flaws - RunningInTheUSA.com)

In Sports

"Joggling" partner Trish Evans. (Photo: Bill Flaws - RunningInTheUSA.com)

In Sports

College sweethearts and athletes, Bob and Trish Evans train together.

Now tri that while juggling


The finish line of the Capuchin Run/Walk for the Hungry was filled Thursday night with runners saying, "Hey, did you see that guy juggling?"

The response was often, "No, but I saw that woman."

Glimpses of Bob and Trish Evans juggling while running were remarkable, but fleeting.

The world's fastest joggling couple raced over the 5K course on the lakefront faster than nearly all their non-juggling competitors: 16:53 and third place for Bob and 20:20 and sixth place in the women's division for Trish.

While fast even for those running without three balls, both Bob and Trish were slightly off their world joggling 5K records: 16:42 and 19:42, respectively.

Their speed elevates their version of joggling beyond novelty act to amazing athletic achievement.

Michal Kapral, who holds the joggling record in the marathon (2:50:12) lends this perspective: "To be a good joggler you need the perfect combination of endurance, speed, strength and hand-eye coordination. You also need to be a little crazy.

"Oh, and the most important thing of all is you must overcome your fear of embarrassment. When you're a joggler, you're not just running a race, you're putting on a show. It's like a little mobile circus act."

Bob and Trish, Wisconsin natives, plan to up the ante on their show next month and juggle through a triathlon. In their version, the Panther Pride in Iowa Falls, Iowa, will be a 300-meter swuggle, a 15-mile unijuggle and a 5K joggle.

The swim, of course, is the tricky part.

"You're on your back, flutter kick like a back stroke, and your hands are right above your forehead," Bob said. "You're kicking your legs as hard as you can, barely keeping your face above water and juggling overhead.

"It took us two or three weeks before we could do one length of the pool, and now we're up to 20 lengths."

Both Bob and Trish have had that dedication to training throughout their lives.

Originally from Oconomowoc, he played basketball at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha and Michigan Tech University. After high school in Iron River, Trish ran and competed on the Nordic Ski Team at the college where they met.

Juggling filled a void for them after their collegiate athletic careers ended.

"We were used to practicing four to six hours a day," Bob said. "We tried different things, picked up instruments, ballroom dancing …

"One of the things we learned in that period was juggling and got really into it, performing at nursing homes and for clubs at schools."

They took their act on the road to Arizona, where they both worked as teachers and performed their juggling and acrobatic routine at festivals and similar events.

"When we moved to Arizona we were still runners," Trish said. "I had been racing since second grade and it doesn't leave you.

"It wasn't until four years into our juggling that we heard of joggling and thought, 'Why didn't we think of that?'"

They won the first 5K race they entered as jogglers and found a new passion: a natural meld of their athletic ability and desire to entertain people.

"It's all about living fully, just taking something that seems maybe impossible or daunting and doing it; not being deterred by fear of failing or it being hard or what people might think, and having a partner to do that with," Trish said.

In their pursuit of living fully, the Evans traveled around the country for a year performing and racing, and set up back in Wisconsin, in Oconomowoc. They're setting joggling records, and working to raise money for the Special Olympics through the triathlon.

Their goal is to raise $20,000 for the charity.

"Initially, we started racing just as our own physical challenge," Trish said. "We like new things and to challenge ourselves. With the positive reaction, we decided to take that attention and focus it on something."


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