Note: This story was submitted by incoming Emerald sports reporter Gus Morris.
In his three years of participating in triathlons, Evan Pardi has competed in the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship and represented Team USA in the the World Triathlon Championships. He is currently a senior at the University of Oregon, completing his degree in double bass music performance. Pardi recently sat down with the Emerald to discuss his training, accomplishments and what the future holds:
What have you been up to this past summer? Training? Racing?
I’ve been racing a lot — so far two triathlons here in Oregon, one in Bend and one in Portland. I’ve been training a fair bit too. I got back from [studying abroad in] England in June and hadn’t raced yet, so I was worried about how that would turn out, but it went great. I set a course record in the race in Portland and then went out to Bend and won there. Then I went to USA Triathlon National Championships and finished third in the university race and eleventh overall, which qualified me for Team USA, so I’ll probably race for them next year.
Last year you competed in the World Triathlon Championships for Team USA in Edmonton. What was that experience like?
It was great. I didn’t expect it to be as cool as it was. We all got up there a couple days before the race, we had a parade for all the participants, the mayor was there, members of parliament, the whole Edmonton Oilers hockey team came out and gave jerseys to the pro racers. I was blown away. I’m also not usually a patriotic guy but when you got your name, with USA underneath it, it’s hard not to feel a lot of pride in that.
You’ve only been competing in triathlons officially for three years so far. In that time, what’s been your proudest accomplishment in those few years?
By far, placing third in nationals a day after a really hard race. I lost a wheel during the bike portion, lost a top-five spot in that very competitive race. I saved that race, got my head together and fought for a podium place the next day. It wasn’t my fastest race ever, but definitely most mentally tough race I’ve ever had.
When you were in high school, you suffered a stress fracture in your hip, which inevitably made you stop running but helped you develop your love for triathlons. How has persevering through hardships shaped you as a person and athlete?
It had taught me that the greatest thing in all things, that so many people overlook, is the value of consistency. If you look at every day and say to yourself, ‘What can I do today, tomorrow, every day to better myself?’ It’s all about little steps forward and it compounds and that’s how I think I’ve become relatively successful. I’ve never had a great race where I’ve gone five minutes fast; it’s always been a little bit and a little bit faster.
So, what’s a typical day of training for a triathlon racer like yourself?
So, a typical day would never be more than about two and a half hours during the day. I don’t have massive workouts unlike a lot of other guys. I do smaller workouts about everyday. In a week, I’ll swim, bike and run maybe three or four days a week. Frankly, its the pros who have the most success. The guys who win, they’re not training the most, they’re training the smartest.”
So, what’s next for Evan Pardi?
“I got the Pacific Northwest Championship in three weeks; that’s short term. Long term, I’d like to get my full professional card [for professional triathlons] in the next two years. And I’d like to represent my country at worlds again.