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Team "Unholy Trinity" placed first in the 21st annual Great
Floridian Triathlon.

Professors place first in Great Floridian Triathlon
[12.01.2011]

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida may need to consider adding one more accolade to the growing list of accomplishments by faculty, students and staff.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, USF philosophy professors Doug Jesseph, 52, Joshua Rayman, 42, and Michael Morris, 34, competed in the 21st annual Great Floridian Triathlon in Clermont, Fla.

Adopting the moniker the Unholy Trinity, the three philosophy department professors placed first in the team category, completing the Ultra Distance’s 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run in 10 hours, 10 minutes and 57 seconds. The team that came in second place completed the race in 11 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds.

According to Jesseph, the idea to compete in the race was proposed by Morris during a department meeting.

“He said, ‘you know this guy’s a runner,’ and [Morris] swims and I bike, so we should look into a triathlon relay,” Jesseph said. “I was like, ‘yeah, that’s kinda cool.’”

Even though Jesseph, Rayman and Morris have experience in their relay areas, they still trained as much as they could for event.

“I was running 100 miles a week and then I bumped up to over 110 the last eight weeks so I was in tip-top shape for the race,” Rayman said.

Jesseph added that Rayman also was training for the New York Marathon, which happened about two weeks after the Great Floridian Triathlon.

The 100-mile a week runs, which sometimes included running to and from the USF campus to his home in Seminole Heights, paid off.

“Out of 47,000 people that were running the marathon, he came in 131,” Jesseph said.

Jesseph said he participated in a few triathlons during the summer, and was therefore doing a lot of biking, but to train for the Great Floridian he upped the amount of time he spent biking.

“The bike part of the Ultra Distance Triathlon is 112 miles, so instead of biking only 50 to 60 miles a week, I was doing a couple hundred,” he said. “My long training rides would be over 100 miles, and I knew I was ready when I went out about three weeks before the event and there was a ridiculous rainstorm and I did over 100 miles in driving rain in about six hours.”

That kind of training would serve Jesseph well during the triathlon because the bicycle course had a lot of uphill climbs and the day turned out to be extremely windy.

“When he got out of the race and was bringing the bike over to make the exchange he was just completely exhausted,” Rayman said. “He put it all out there.”

Although Morris was unavailable during the time of the interview, Jesseph commended Morris’s performance in the race.

“He did 2.4 miles in open water in 58 minutes with pretty minimum training,” Jesseph said. “He’s got a small child and is busy with teaching and research so he doesn’t get as much training as he would like.”

Rayman and Jesseph begin to laugh as they recall Morris walking up to the starting line for the swim.

“We lined up and walked out and everybody else had these wetsuits on and Michael wasn’t even in a speedo, just a like a drag suit,” Jesseph said. “As we were waiting for Joshua to finish the run part of the race, a head time keeper said to me, ‘yes, we noticed your swimmer when he came out. Everyone said that either this guy is really good or we’re going to be fishing him out of the water because he has no idea what he’s doing’.”

Both Morris and Rayman placed first in the swim and run portions of the triathlon, respectively, with Jesseph placing a close second in the bike.

Next, the trio plans to participate in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla. on April 27.

“[It’s] a shorter distance, but a significantly more competitive field,” Jesseph said. “Looking at last year’s results, we figure we may not win the thing, but we’ve got a chance.”

Until April though, Jesseph jokingly declares a challenge to other university’s philosophy departments.

“I guess the hiring of the philosophy department was to build this competitive relay team,” he said. “Until someone can show otherwise we are claiming the world-record triathlon relay philosophy department. If anyone thinks they can beat us, just name a time to show up.”

-USF-



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Author: Milca Rivera
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