PETE PAGUAGA — Sports Editor
With the 17 Division II varsity teams and the handful of club teams on campus, there is one athlete who doesn’t participate in any of them. Zachary Yannes, a junior from Oxford, runs in the Iron Man 70.3 Triathlons.
The Iron Man 70.3, is a half triathlon; a full one is 140.6 miles. It consists of a 1.2-mile swim; a 56-mile bike ride and they finish off with a 13.1-mile run.
His triathlon career has just begun though.
“I started last June, which is OK because it’s more competitive sport as you age,” said Yannes, “I met a guy at the gym, and I thought it would be cool to try.”
A little less than four months later, Yannes has recently just qualified for the “Iron Man 70.3 World Championships” in Las Vegas next September. He will compete against people from all around the world of all ages.
“After my first time competing I fell in love with the sports,” said Yannes.
Its not as easy as it looks, Yannes trains three to four hours every Saturday and Sunday during the off season and everyday during the season. He rides his bike around 100 miles a week and about 400 miles a month on top eating to a specific diet to keep him healthy.
“I have a very specific diet, I eat very healthy, carbohydrates and protein,” said Yannes.
He also works two jobs and is a full-time student here at Southern, on top of training and competing. He works at The Rinks at Shelton and the AHL minor league team the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as a locker room attendant for the visiting team. He sets up the whole locker room for the team that is coming in to play the Sound Tigers and stays there all night if they are coming in late in the morning.
“Its very challenging having the two jobs and a full schedule,” said Yannes, but his parents’ support he said helps him do it all.
“They have both been really supportive,” said Yannes, “my dad has been at every race for me.”
Competing in triathlons is also a very expensive sport, which is a reason that it isn’t that popular.
“It’s a ridiculously expensive sport,” said Yannes, “it’s $5,000 for a good bike, $100 for a pair a shoes a month and a wet suit between $300-$400.”
After the World Championships in September, Yannes joked that he would like to compete in the Olympics, but then he said straight-faced that he would love to compete for the United States.