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Posted On February 1, 2009 By In Interviews And 874 Views

Jacob’s Ladder

“I don’t just do triathlon, I live it. It’s become such a huge part of my life and who I am. I was a 215 lb band student that used to eat breakfast burritos in bulk, with chocolate milk and donuts.”

He’s climbing higher and higher. JACOB EVANS race history is a steady climb up his own ladder. His big jumping off point was in 2006 doing his debut marathon at the Dallas White Rock Marathon on December 10 (3 hr., 49 min). In 2007, he did his debut Ironman distance triathlon on July 22 at Lake Placid (11:07). His big races for 2008 included the Arizona Ironman Triathlon on April 13 (10 hrs, 29 min.), the Hawaiian Ironman in October (10:28), Pikes Peak Ascent on August 16 (3:18), and the Dallas White Rock Marathon, December 14 (3:06).

It is surmised Jacob, 23, has one of the most popular web sites of local triathletes, www.jacobevans.net. It has tons of training log information, pictures, and data. “It goes on forever!” he says. “I used to actually use it as a training log, so I would log my workout, EVERYday. I stopped last October and started using my current training log.”

Whether it is his long arms or appearance, he resembles Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. But one thing is clear, he has a passion. And it’s not all about triathlon.

Evans is a triathlete to keep your eye on in the next few years. He has talent and aspirations. This says a lot being one of the few multi-sport athletes from the suburb of Midlothian, 25-30 miles southwest of Dallas off Rt. 67.

Born Jacob Riley Evans, September 15, 1985 at Dallas’ St. Paul Hospital, he became the older brother to John two years later. (John took the photo of Jacob’s eye at the start of this story.) “Let’s just say my mother had her hands full with the two of us running around,” he jokes.

His mother is a nurse in Mansfield, and his father works in Arlington, building air compressors.

Growing up, he bounced around different addresses in the Metroplex. But his grandparents “were always present and were a huge help in raising John and I.”

It’s his grandmother whom he still admires. “Hands down my grandmother. Without my grandmother I would not have had many of the opportunities that I had, including the access to the education that I’m currently receiving at UTA. She taught me an appreciation for words, life, and family. I couldn’t be more grateful for her sacrifice, dedication, and love. Each time I race, I remember that it’s because of her I’m able to do that.”

He was always afraid of him and his brother getting caught by his mom, “doing things we shouldn’t have been doing.” Such as? “Crossing Highway 287 while in grade school! We also used to ride our rollerblades into the local grocery store.”

That wasn’t all he and John liked to do. Typical kids, they rode their bikes around town, and played sports. “We were definitely outdoor kids. As soon as we’d get home from school, we were out the door, and wouldn’t be back ‘til it was dark.”

He’s better able to have an awareness of himself from now from when he was younger. “When looking back, I realize that when I was younger, I probably came off as self-centered and somewhat cocky. I like to think I’m much different now. So many people have helped me get where I am and I appreciate each and every one. I now want nothing more than to share my love for the sport that has given me so much, with other people.”

When he was about a year old, his mom took him to swimming lessons, introducing him to the water. A few years later, he took lessons during the summer, learning the different strokes. It “furthered my love of the water,” he says. During the summers, the two brothers would go to the Waxahachie YMCA all day. He never swam competitively until he started racing triathlons, but had a great background that would come in handy later.

Jacob grew up a talkative and outgoing person. He enjoyed school and participated in a few sports, “none of which I excelled in,” graduating in 2004.

Today, he stands 6’ 0” and 155 lbs. His skin is stretched taught. There’s not an ounce of fat or soft tissue over his long body. But that wasn’t always the case.

“All of my life I was the ‘larger’ kid,” he says, with emphasis on “larger.” He played some of the regular sports, soccer and basketball, but was “never really all that good at either. I was never very fit and hated running.” After trying out for football, he only made it through one practice. In basketball, he admits, “Being taller really had its advantages.”

For soccer, Jacob played goalie because he couldn’t run the length of the field. “I LOVED the position! I didn’t have to run!” As a 5th grader, he was told he needed to lose 10 lbs to make the team. “Looking back now it’s almost funny. But then, it definitely wasn’t.” As a Midlothian High School freshman, he had to run a three mile timed run. He would run occasionally during the summers, but it would never last, he reports. “I was never able to run a mile straight. On the day of the run, I finished dead last, and did not make the cut off time. That was my last season of soccer. I was close to 205 lbs at the time.”

Was this a good thing at the time? “I feel that it was probably a good thing despite the fact I RARELY played in games. I did work out with the team, but still despised cardio [workouts] of any sort. The main reason I probably didn’t play was because I was so involved with the band. I definitely enjoyed soccer. But, then again, was tired of warming the bench. I do feel that all the sports that I haven’t been great at have inspired me to work as hard as I do at triathlon and Ironman.”

Jacob joined high school band, not because he enjoyed the music, but because marching band counted as a P.E. credit. “Irony at its finest,” he grins. Jacob weighed 210 lbs by his senior year.

“I joined the band playing the Trombone in 6th grade. It’s funny looking back on it now. All my friends were playing the trombone so I figured why not! That 6th grade class, we had maybe 15-20 trombone players. My graduating year of High School I was the only one left. I made the All-Region and All Area bands my senior year. I despised running and working out so much that I stuck with marching band so that I wouldn’t have to take P.E. Of course it worked out for the best. The marching band was a close knit family, where I made some of my best friends. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. Ironically, I did continue playing trombone. My freshman year at UTA I played the Bass Trombone in the marching band there.”

One of those high school marching band friends, DEREK GLASEAR, 15, lived down the street, and had a BMX bike. Together they started racing their bikes and Jacob quickly moved up.

“I’d go up to the track and practice. I’d go to every race I could afford to go to. I quickly realized what a competitive person I am. I kept getting faster. Before I knew it, I was moving up out of the novice class to the intermediate class. I realized I really needed to get faster to be competitive. Well with my type “A” personality I decided I’d buy a road bike to try and get in better shape.”

At 19, he bought his first road bike from B&B Bicycles (now one of his sponsors) in the summer of 2004. It was “for training purposes only,” he says, riding with the owner BETH FARRELL’s son, JEFF FARRELL DELAVEGA, with hopes of losing weight (he was close to 215 lbs), gaining some fitness, and racing faster. “Once I bought my first road bike, it was on!” He was soon entering road rallies and the MS150 bike ride. “Before I knew it, I had developed a love for distance cycling.” Eventually, Jacob even bought a unicycle. “Cycling did that for me and opened doors I never knew were closed! Beth is a phenomenal woman that I can thank for SO much. Without her help I definitely would not be where I am in the triathlon scene.” As for Jeff, he’s become a very good cyclist and has recently tried multi-sports with a little help from Jacob. Jeff completed his first half Ironman triathlon last year.

Though Jacob had a background in swimming, it wasn’t until he entered a triathlon that he began swimming for fitness. Then he also realized how much he enjoyed the sport. “That led to me training with a purpose in the pool.” He has yet to swim for time outside of a triathlon, though would like to try a 10K open water swim.

When Jacob decided to enter a triathlon, he says it forced him to run. It was the only reason he began running. “I realized I could cycle pretty well, I knew how to swim, all I had to do was suffer through the run.” With his great love for the sport and background in it, that’s ALL he had to do, he thought. “Once I signed up for that first triathlon [June 2005], I started ‘training,’ if you can call it that.”

Derek Glasear, the boy who had gotten Jacob biking BMX, had a knowledgeable father. ALAN GLASEAR educated Jacob on how rich the area is in races; runs, bike rides, and triathlons. Today, Jacob sites Alan as his biggest influence.

“When Alan first mentioned what a marathon was, I seriously thought he was lying or insane. I couldn’t imagine someone running that far. When he told me what an Ironman triathlon was, my jaw hit the floor. Of course, deep down inside these were two things that I now wanted to do. I didn’t know how, but I knew I would, somehow, someday, do them. He mentioned that he was going to do Ironman Lake Placid. He never did. I think this is why I chose it for my first Ironman distance race. Alan was the one that I drove with to my first few running races, and he’s the first person I ran with all the way around White Rock Lake. Even though he probably doesn’t know it, Alan was probably the biggest influence back then.”

“As a college freshman, I was working nights and loving life. One night late at work, I found a website, www.ironheadrp.com.” Jacob’s first triathlon was the June 2005 Metroplex Sprint Triathlon. “I had found Jack Weiss’ website and discovered that triathlons had shorter distances [than Ironman]!” Before he had done his first triathlon, however, in his excitement, Jacob registered for a sprint triathlon (400 meter swim, 11 mile bike, 5K run), a Olympic distance triathlon (1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run) and a half Ironman triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).

He finished the sprint race, his first ever triathlon, in 215th place of 500+ participants, and happy about it. Two years later (2007) at the same race, he finished 5th overall.

By the time the half Ironman came around that year (September 2005), Jacob’s longest run was maybe eight miles. “That race was an adventure!” He was 191st out of 235 finishers with a time of 6:47:09 (46:00 swim, 3:06:03 bike, 2:49:33 run). In the years to come, he would bring that time down almost two hours to 4:53. Today, he is a member of Team Ironhead, the web site team he first saw and registered on. Owner and race director JACK WEISS says, “Jacob’s a phenomenal athlete. Only a few years ago he was average. Now he’s one of the top young talents in the four-state region. He’s really very good. We’re lucky to have him.”

Over time, Jacob lost 55 lbs along his way to various finish lines. “I feel like one of my biggest accomplishments other than Ironman is losing the weight since High school. I think losing weight is a huge accomplishment and changing your lifestyle to keep that weight off.”

Jacob ran his first running race at the 2005 July 4th Flagpole 8K, placing 21st overall, and 3rd in his age group (16-19). But fate was at work. Here he met, MATT BURNS and JULIE KANER (married two years later). They would become good friends.

“My running took off from that point.” He ran 1:32 at his first half marathon (2005 Dallas White Rock Marathon Half). “To this day I still have NO idea how I ran that fast!” The next year, 2006, he ran the entire Dallas White Rock Marathon in a time of 3:49, far from the ambitious goal of 3:30. He was disappointed by his debut effort. “This bad experience with the marathon really laid heavily on my shoulders.”

At the 2006 Duathlon World Championships in Fredericia, Denmark, Jacob met his second greatest mentor, SCOTT KING, from Grapevine, TX. Swapping emails once they returned, Scott got Jacob to re-consider an Ironman distance race, talking Jacob into registering for the 2007 Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon. The race is known for its terribly hard biking course. “Over the next year we raced together, would sometimes train together, and he was always there to give me advice.”

The following year, Jacob made his debut at the Ironman triathlon distance. At the July 2007 Lake Placid Ironman race, Jacob finished in an impressive 11 hours, 7 minutes, 36 seconds. His marathon time during that race was 4:00:16.

You could say Jacob was off and running. Soon, he was encouraged and saw he had potential.

At the April 2008 Ironman Arizona, he nearly PR’d his free standing marathon time with a 3:51:00, less than 2 minutes shy.

“Scott and I both raced IMLP and finished. Scott has been a fantastic friend and support crew. I thank him for all of that. Especially IMAZ 2008.”

Last year, he finished The Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon Championship (2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 solo bike ride, 26.2 mile marathon run) in 10 hours and 28 minutes after qualifying at Ironman Arizona (April 2008). There he broke his marathon record, running 3:44:49.

Jacob works, goes to school full time, is self coached, and trains alone around the hill of his home town and Joe Pool Lake.

“Amazing,” is what friend KELLY HARRIS says. “He’s just a hard working kid, very full of life, busting his butt trying to finish up his degree to be a teacher and working full time at night. He will be a great local force for many years to come.” Jacob’s worked as a polysomnogram technician at Total Sleep Diagnostics since he was 19. He organizes and charts sleep studies.

Jacob responds. “I’m just your everyday college student, trying to make it to graduation.” Really?

Regionally in the four state area (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas), for 2008, he was ranked 11th overall in triathlons, and 2nd in his age group. Not bad for a relative new comer to the three sports.

Two months after Hawaiian Ironman, Jacob ran his PR marathon at December’s Dallas White Rock Marathon, finishing in 3:06:51, good enough for 6th in his age group, and 68th overall. (His previous marathon PR was set at the Hawaiian Ironman, 3:44:00, after swimming and biking.)

PRs

  • Marathon – 3:06:50
  • Half Marathon – 1:21:24
  • 5K – 17:42
  • Olympic distance triathlon – 2:06:38
  • Half Ironman distance triathlon – 4:53:28
  • Ironman distance triathlon – 10:29:46
  • 5K Open water swim – 1:21:18

“I think his racing achievements are awesome!” says COURTNEY LEIGH HADDOCK, 24, a research scientist at a cancer research laboratory, from Plano. She is a former cheerleader from Marble Falls High School, Marble Falls, TX (45 miles west of Austin, south of Burnet). “I am so proud of his development as a triathlete as it’s become quite obvious that he has a natural talent as a phenomenal athlete.”

“I feel that the more I race,” Jacob says, “the more used to racing I get. It’s not so much ‘Am I going to finish the distance?’ anymore. It’s more of ‘How fast can I cover the distance?’”

Jacob’s training is becoming the whispers of legends. In September of 2008, during his build up for The Hawaiian Ironman, Jacob swam 60,000 yards. In August, he cycled 1,000 miles with a few back-to-back weeks of 300 miles. Then there are the five 115 mile bike rides and one 125 mile ride, equal to the distance from south Texas to the Oklahoma border.

He keeps his running low, he says. “The maximum I’ll ever do running is about 50 miles a week and that’s marathon training. During Ironman training, I’ll do 35 miles a week, max, with a long run of 18 miles maximum.” He reports no injuries.

He and Courtney are able to relate to each other well, they feel, despite their busy schedules. “Jacob and I can practically read each other’s minds, so we don’t really even need phones! Since the day we met we’ve had totally open, honest communication with each other. It’s like we really are in each other’s heads because we are so much alike. It takes no effort at all to be with him, talk with him, or be honest with him. It’s totally effortless. We try to spend as much time with each other as possible, but when we can’t, and we have no choice but to talk on the phone, it’s no different than talking with him in person, besides missing getting to see his face! We’re both talkers so communication with us has been 100% since day one.”

Courtney sees his racing and training schedule as something to work around. “He keeps a pretty busy schedule and at times I wonder how he’s not overwhelmed, but he devotes his time equally to all of his commitments. His time commitments on the weekends have never been a problem for us. I have a standing invite to all of his race events. I’m fortunate enough to have a schedule that allows me to accompany him on most of his trips as well as making it to all the local races. He’s been great about incorporating me into his ‘race lifestyle’. Since I knew about his commitment to triathlon and training from the beginning of our relationship, it’s been very easy to be accommodating to his schedule, the same way he is accommodating to my work schedule. We’re very flexible and have been able to spend a great deal of time together. Between work, school, and training, I feel blessed to be able to see him at all! But I have never felt left out or neglected due to triathlon. I think our relationship has been so strong since the beginning because we actively choose to involve each other in our lives. It is a bit like he’s having an affair in many ways! I refer to his bike as his ‘other girlfriend.’ But I know after a long ride, he’s always coming home to me. So I don’t mind sharing him!”

Although he says his schedule is “unbelievably crazy” at times, Jacob still manages to put in 20-24 hours of training per week. “Now there’s a full schedule,” says fellow competitor and training friend, TYLER JOHNSON. (“He has the biggest M-Dot tattoo in DFW,” says Tyler. “He is an insomniac. Works all night and lives off of coffee. He usually returns my emails between 1 – 4 AM!”) It’s a very unorthodox schedule, but it obviously works for him. Here’s a quick rundown of a normal week while he was in school, training for the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.

 Jacob’s Day-to-Day

MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY

7:00 Wake up (varies)

9-11:50 class

12-12:50 swim 3,000 yards

1-1:50 class

2-3:00 travel home

3:00 run 8 miles

Eat, shower, sleep

8:00pm – 7:00am work

 

TUESDAY, THURSDAY

8:00 arrive home

8:00 – 2pm sleep

2 -5 eat, bike 2 hours

6:30 swim 4,000 yards

8:00 – 11:00pm eat, core workout for 30 minutes, study

11:00 sleep

 

SATURDAY

8am home from work

8-2pm sleep

Run 2-2 ½ hours or ride for 3-4 hours, plus a 45 min core workout

 

SUNDAY

bike 4 – 6 ½ hours

Run 30 – 90 minutes

ice bath

 

Not a high tech kind of guy, he trains exclusively using his perceived exertion. “I don’t use a heart rate monitor or a power meter. This last season I didn’t even use a bike computer. In Hawaii I had nothing but my wrist watch with my splits.”

He has fun outside of his busy schedule of training, school, and work, whether with his friends, or his girlfriend. “His friends,” Courtney says, “are very supportive and many, if not most, of them are triathletes. They encourage each other through competition. It’s very much a ‘club’ as they all understand each other on a level that others cannot. They are all very fun, and very interesting, people!” She continues to boast about her beau. “Words cannot describe him! He has such an extraordinary personality. He’s kind and compassionate. He truly cares for people and it shows in his behavior, how he treats others and his willingness to help others.” She continues saying Jacob is outgoing, social, and “constantly meeting new people and making new friends. He has an addicting personality! He’s easy and fun to be around is happy to see others succeed and achieve their goals. He is a very happy person and always has a positive outlook on everything.” However, she adds, “He does enjoy the rare occasion when he is able to take some time for himself.”

“There’s a life outside triathlon?” he laughs. “I enjoy the occasional beer with friends,” he smiles, then admitting to an addiction for Starbucks (Venti six-shot Americanos is his favorite). He says he has loved snowboarding for 13 years, “But living in Texas makes this one a bit difficult. My ipod has close to 5,000 songs, all which I’ve heard. I own a GSXR 750 and love to ride it to work. I really enjoy good films and love finding fun places to eat. I also like to read and take photographs. It’s hard for me to admit, but I have an addiction to all Zelda games ever made, plus I’m good at Guitar Hero. When not seriously training, I love to go out for a run or bike with friends. I also enjoy reading the newspaper.”

Not surprisingly, his first Ironman, 2007 Lake Placid, is his favorite race. “It’s such a beautiful venue and I have such fond memories of that place. Going into that race I had NO expectations. I just wanted to finish and have fun. Not only did I have fun, I finished my first Ironman in 11:07:37 with a 4:00:16 marathon on a tough course. The last 3 miles of that race were total bliss. It was my first Ironman triathlon and will also be my fourth.”

He says the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships are a close second. “Second would have to be running down Alii drive in Hawaii and seeing my family there waiting for me.”

And third? “Third would be the day after Ironman Arizona in April of 2008, when I found out I had qualified for Hawaii. At that moment, that was the happiest specific moment in my life.”

Another of his favorite races is a surprise. He was one of the intrepid souls stuck on the side of Pikes Peak 14,000’ mountain during a race last August when a cold front blew in with a blizzard, plummeting temperatures. In August of 2008, Jacob ran the 13-mile Pikes Peak Ascent, just because of the challenge. Temperatures dropped, quickly and dangerously, with runners being plucked off the open mountain side with hypothermia. There was no protection from the beating weather. “I really didn’t know if I’d finish. With 5K to go, it started hailing and sleeting. The winds were gusting at 30+ mph and I was wearing a tech shirt, running shorts, and cotton gloves. All I wanted to do was find a rock, curl up underneath it, and wait for someone to save me. Luckily I avoided that situation and covered the last 5K in an hour.” He finished 106th of 628 finishers. Many DNF’d or were halted because of the life threatening situation. He was 4th in his age group with a time of 3:18:57. “The sleet was coming down so hard. The winds were blowing and it was easily in the upper 20s. Then I saw it… 1 mile left. I looked down at my watch and saw that the last two miles had taken me 40 minutes! That’s when I realized, this is what I live for. Adventure. The unknown. This wasn’t an Ironman. This wasn’t a triathlon. This wasn’t even running. This was the unknown for me. I was getting pelted in the face and freezing cold and I loved every minute of it. I just kept telling myself keep going.. keep going… its going to feel so good to shower… beer.. beer… pizza… beer…. warm shower… No race has ever broken me down like that one.” Read his full story, complete with pictures. It’s ironic that, for a guy who hated running growing up, this has become his favorite race.

Other races he lists include The Cowtown Half Marathon. “Easily my favorite local race. They have such a great event. It’s not too big, but not too small. Everything from the post race, to the event parking is awesome.”

The Future Jacob Evans: 2009

His race plans for 2009 are varied and plentiful.

Jan 25 – 3M Half Marathon

Feb 15 – Austin Half Marathon

Feb 28 – Cowtown Half Marathon

March 15 – Little Rock Half Marathon

April 26 – Benbrook Triathlon

May 17 – Rockwall Sprint Triathlon

May 30 – Route 66 Sprint Triathlon

June 14 – Kansas 70.3 Half Iron

July 5 – PlayTri Sprint Triathlon

July 26 – Ironman Lake Placid

Sept 13 – PrarieMan Aquabike/Half Ironman

Sept 27 – Meat Pie Triathlon (depends on qualifying for Hawaii)

Oct – Ironman World Championships or Virginia Double Ironman

Nov 15 – Bronda’s Duathlon

Dec 13 – White Rock Full/Half Marathon

“I’ll also probably be adding a few races into that as I hear of them or if I just need to race.” For Jacob, the Hawaiian Ironman has a special meaning. “Kona [the town that hosts the Hawaiian Ironman World Championship Triathlon] will also be involved in my future plans. I love being the best that I can be, and I feel that Kona plays a big part in that. I do want to race the Virginia Double and Triple Ironmans in the near future, before I’m thirty. I do plan on racing the double Ironman (swim 4.8 miles, cycle 224, run 52.4) next October if I don’t Kona qualify. In 2010 I plan on running the Boston Marathon in under 3hours. I plan on doing at least one to two Ironman triathlons every year until I can no longer do them. I would like to race professionally for at least one season, sooner or later. I think that once I age up in two seasons to the 25-29 age group, that will be something I’ll focus on.”

His girlfriend comments: “His focus is unmatched.  I have never met someone more focused or determined in my life.  What sets him apart is his drive to achieve his goals.  He follows through with things to see that he accomplishes what he wants.  This applies to triathlon as well as the other areas in his life, including school, work and our relationship.  He doesn’t do anything halfway and somehow manages to enjoy everything he does, even when he’s dedicating 100% in many different areas.”

“Those three sports [swimming, biking, running] mean a lifestyle to me,” Jacob says. “I don’t just do triathlon, I live it. It’s become such a huge part of my life and who I am. I honestly feel that triathlon and the discipline that goes into it has made me who I am today. It has given me the confidence to conquer the daily problems we face, from traffic jams to unruly family members! I can honestly say that 97% of my friends have been made through triathlon, and are a family to me.”

He feels the current state of competition in Dallas is very good. “It’s nice because a lot of the time we’ll get some of the fast guys from DFW and Austin together and it always makes for a great race!” He also feels that there is a good support structure around the community. “I definitely think that the running scene in the area is great with all the local running specialty stores, and great running spots like White Rock Lake, Katy Trail, and other public parks.”

But he also feels some change might be in order. “I feel that the quality of the races being put on needs to be the priority of race directors instead of the race ‘hype’ or different activities, themes, they advertise.” He feels the accuracy of courses, athlete safety, and well organized races need to be the priority. “I think most race directors do a good job. But within the South Mid-West region I’ve experienced poor course, and race organization. To me there is nothing more disappointing or frustrating.”

In addition, Jacob thinks bike lanes need to be continually pursued in the DFW area, while the community needs to be educated, along with cyclists, of the rules of the road. “Too often we hear about cyclists being pushed off the roads or even hit. This is unacceptable. The community needs to be aware that cyclists have a right to be on the road.”

When asked “What do you most often do or think of while training or racing?” Jacob answered, “I’m almost always in the moment while training. I think about my pace, or how I feel. Since I race on perceived exertion, this is a big part of my race. In short races I’m always thinking about catching the guy ahead, or staying ahead depending on the situation. I don’t ever cycle or run with music as I see it as a distraction.”

He is inspired by people he doesn’t know, who are training for the same races he is. “I just remember that the guys I’ll be racing against for that Hawaiian Ironman slot are probably training.” Though he usually trains by himself, two or three times a year he’ll go with someone else, usually Scott King. “The truth is I love getting outside and training. I love being outside in general. That’s another reason I NEVER workout in a gym. All of my running and cycling is done outdoors year round.”

Currently a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington, majoring in physical education with a minor in history, his plans also include graduating from UTA in the Fall of 2009, then pursuing his masters degree in Adapted Physical Education at Texas Woman’s University. “While pursuing my masters I’d like to work for a local school district developing their Adapted Physical Ed program, helping children with disabilities, both physical and mental.”

Jacob’s favorite bands are Matchbox Twenty, first, and then Modest Mouse. His first concert was in 7th Grade with his mom. They went to see Tom Petty. “Definitely won’t forget that one.”

Though he says he’s a “big sushi fan,” enjoying Tom Toms in the West Village, he also enjoys Italian food at Buca Di Beppo, next to North Park Mall.

According to Courtney, to dine with Jacob is to know him. “Oh boy! This is where you really get to know Jacob. He is very serious about what he does, making sure he enables his body to perform at top shape all the time. He therefore, views food as ‘fuel’ for his body and makes very healthy decisions when it comes to eating. It’s not that he doesn’t like hamburgers and ice cream. He just chooses not to eat things that will provide him no nutritional value. This is also where you see his determination, he has a very strong will when it comes to avoiding junk foods!

“His food intake is incredible. He eats a lot of food! But it mostly consists of high protein – chicken, egg whites, black beans –, good fats such as fish and avocados, and fruits and veggies. He drinks mostly water, but has an addiction to coffee, his only vice. He loves black coffee. I’m convinced that he wouldn’t be himself without at least two cups a day! His eating habits are just another way he is able to inspire people to make healthy decisions in their own lives.

“After training for months and completing a big race he allows himself to eat what he wants for a few days and usually has a celebratory beer to top it off. This shows us all that he is, in fact, human.”

He just finished reading the book, “The Life of Pi.” He does his shopping at Lukes Locker and www.newtonrunning.com. “When not buying shoes or running gear, Amazon.com has me covered for everything else!” Courtney adds, “He dresses to suit his lifestyle. As a student and triathlete, he mostly wears athletic shorts, t-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts. It totally suits his personality: comfortable and uncomplicated. What you see, is what you get! He does get dressed up when we go out for a nice dinner. He cleans up very well!”

His sponsors include: Nuun, Ironhead Race Productions, B&B Bicycles, all of which can be viewed on his web site: jacobevans.net.

Jacob wants people to know he loves what he does and he wants to show that anything is possible. “My senior year in High School I was a 215 lb band student that used to eat Breakfast burritos in bulk with chocolate milk and donuts. I’m now a 160 lb Ironman world championship finisher and a Boston marathon qualifier, soon to be finisher. I did all of that while working nights and going to school full time. My goal in my career and life is to show others what a healthy active lifestyle can do for you, and that it’s not out of reach.”

His hero is an easy pick, he says. “Anyone that makes the decision to lead a healthy active lifestyle and stick to it.” He also includes Lance Armstrong. “I think many people overlook what he did, and still does.” Jacob sites Armstrong’s seven wins at the Tour d’France. “I remember watching Lance win his tours, in complete awe. Not only did he revolutionize the cycling world, but he has brought attention to cancer and cancer research in a way that no other person has.”

So where does Courtney fit into the overall picture? “He’s my soul mate, as stereotypical as it sounds, and there’s been a long term commitment since Day One. It was an instant connection between us and we have an amazing and rare relationship. We both realize that and are very thankful to have each other.”

“I plan on graduating from UTA in the fall of this year and will be applying to the TWU adapted physical education program during the summer, for 2010. In a perfect world I’d like to be attending TWU in the spring of 2010 for graduate school.”

Will he continue to climb up his ladder? That’s inevitable. The man’s got claws, and fangs, as well as long limbs. He’s not done climbing yet. He wants to win his age group in the four-state South Mid-West Triathlon rankings. Someday, he would like to become involved in governing the sport he loves so dearly. “I would like to run for the regional board sometime in the future.”

Chris Phelan has written, laid out, photographed, and published The Phast Times News since 2001. He’s crisscrossed Texas on his bike three times, swam 5 miles across Lake Ray Hubbard three times, completed three Ironman triathlons, and has represented the US in completion three times, and run with the Olympic Torch. He maintained All-American status for five years and has also biked across the country, 3600 miles in 30 days. The running/triathlon coach has PR’s of 2:27 marathon, 15:40 5K, 3:55 at the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred, and 10:00:52 Ironman. Chris is the only person to have won overall and Master’s at Dallas’ Crosson Dannis road racing series, DRC road racing series, and the USAT/SMW duathlon series. In 1988 he began Dallas’ oldest track workout, 1998 started north Texas’ first treadmill class, and 2003 he founded the world-wide Ride Of Silence. He’s been twice nominated Master’s Road Runner of the Year, highlighted in a variety of magazines and is frequently asked to speak at camps and organizations about fitness. Outside of swimming, biking, and running, Chris has summited several mountains including Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.