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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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Fisher senior completes triathlon to raise awareness for Regatta

While many residents of Fisher Hall are eagerly awaiting the final Fisher Regatta next weekend, senior Ethan Springfield took his anticipation to the next level on Thursday by doing an Ironman style triathlon to raise awareness for the event. 

An Ironman triathlon begins with 2.4 miles of swimming, followed by 112 miles of biking and finishing with a 26.2 mile run. Springfield pledged to donate a dollar for every mile he traveled. Money raised for the Regatta goes to support St. Adalbert’s Elementary School in South Bend. Because Fisher Hall is set to be demolished this summer, Springfield said it was more important than ever for him to try to make the fundraiser a success this year.

“With this being the last year of the Regatta with Fisher still standing, I wanted to go above and beyond in hopes of meeting our goal for donations to St. Adalbert's school,” he said. “It's our ‘Last Dance.’”

Springfield began his endeavor at 5:45 a.m. Thursday in the pool at the Rockne Memorial Gym. After finishing the swimming portion, he made his way to Smith Center at 8:45 a.m., where he completed the 112 miles of biking on a stationary bike. Finally, he began the marathon portion of the triathlon at 6 p.m., following the route used for the Holy Half Marathon. Springfield finished the marathon at 12:45 a.m. on Friday, crossing the finish line in front of Fisher Hall as residents cheered him on. Springfield explained the final 13.1 miles of the marathon were the most difficult part of the race.

“The fatigue, muscular exhaustion and lactic acid buildup from the hours of exercise were immense. My legs felt like boulders. I was moving slow, and doubt was creeping in,” he recounted.

Springfield’s belief in the larger importance of the Regatta pushed him forward.

“Something I told myself during those moments was, ‘It's not about you.,’” he said. “The Ironman was bigger than myself. It was for St. Adalbert's. It was for Fisher.”

Also crucial in helping him get through the more difficult parts of the triathlon were the other residents of Fisher. Residents helped Springfield train for the race and joined him for portions of the bike and the run, with five residents running the final 13.1 miles with him. Springfield also said his rector, Joey Quinones, who ran an Ironman last year to benefit Fisher for Notre Dame Day, was also there to text updates to the dorm throughout the day. 

Springfield stressed the outpouring of support was most felt during the last part of the race

“For the final stretch of the run, what felt like the whole dorm ran the last bit with me and was there to cheer me on when I crossed the finish line in front of Fisher Hall,” he said.

One of these residents, sophomore Carson Goldrick, recounted his experience running a mile with Springfield.

“I’ve known Ethan for close to seven or eight years and being able to run the second to last mile with him and the other Fisher guys was such a memorable experience,” Goldrick said. “He has been working really hard for years and to see him accomplish what many never will was amazing.”

Sophomore resident Adam Akan also emphasized the sense of community the run fostered.

“[Springfield] inspired all of us to come together around him. Guys from the hall were finding him throughout the day to cheer him on, and a ton of us ran the final part of his Ironman with him,” he said. “I really don’t think that would happen in any dorm except ours.”

Although Springfield will not be competing in the Regatta this year, he said he wanted to “usher in Regatta Week with dorm spirit high.”

Akan emphasized the importance of this year’s Regatta.

“Even though we are going to continue on as a community, we want to leave a lasting legacy of everything our hall stands for before we move to Zahm,” he said. “The Regatta is an amazing opportunity to remind the campus who we are.”

The Fisher Regatta will take place Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m. on St. Mary’s Lake.