Hauschild on bike

Bill Hauschild rides exercise bike during triathlon training class

Photographer: Dave Talmage

Triathlon class

Triathlon training class on exercise bikes at WellWorks

Photographer: Dave Talmage

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Retired ROTC commander brings first triathlon to area

Competition is unique fitness opportunity

Former Ohio University Army ROTC military science professor Bill Hauschild officially retired on Jan. 1 and he wasted no time moving on to his next project.

The longtime tri-athlete almost immediately began planning a triathlon for Ohio University Christian student organization, Athletes in Action. The Athletes in Action Triathlon will take place at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at Ohio University's Athens campus. It is co-sponsored by HFP Racing, a leader in the industry of multisport management and marketing.

Over the past four years, Hauschild has been deeply involved with the on campus military ministry known as Valor, which has worked alongside student organizations Athletes In Action and Campus Crusade For Christ.

Earlier this year, he talked with Athletes In Action staffer Mark Heflin about staying involved with the ministry. The two looked at a variety of opportunities before Hauschild threw out the idea of holding a triathlon.

"Mark always knew I had a passion for fitness and in the back of my mind I knew he wanted to do a 5k run or something," Hauschild said. "There are 5k races all over the place but really no triathlons in southeastern Ohio. So I threw it to him and then we decided to get the ball rolling."
As part of planning for the triathlon, Hauschild put together a 17-week training program through WellWorks that started in January. The class offers training to both beginner and intermediate
tri-athletes looking to excel in the sport.

"I love exercise so my opportunity to teach the class and workout is fun for me. It's the kind of stuff you want to do in retirement," Hauschild said.

Wendy Merb-Brown, director of learning community programs, signed up for the triathlon and Hauschild's training class as a way to beat the boredom of traditional cardio training.

"I can barely run a mile, but running on a treadmill is pretty boring," Merb-Brown said. "Being involved in this class, I'm able to have fun and improve my cardiovascular health. At the same time, I'm working together with a group of individuals all striving for a similar goal. In the end it's more about a personal accomplishment."
The sprint-format triathlon will be one of the first ever in southeastern Ohio. The "sprint" format means the triathlon will be an easy race for beginners while still being long enough to challenge even the most avid tri-athlete. The race takes place on campus and includes a 500-meter indoor swim, a 25-kilometer bike ride and finishes with a 5-kilometer run.

Hauschild hopes that people both new and old to the sport of triathlons will come out to participate.

"Take the step! You can sit around and keep on not committing, but then it makes it easier and easier not to do it", he said.

Hauschild hopes the triathlon attracts around 500 participants this year and becomes an annual race. All proceeds will benefit Ohio University and Athletes in Action programming.

For registration and course information, visit