OCCUPATION: Lead computer engineer, Savannah River Site; Columbia County school board member; trivia entertainment business owner
EXPERIENCE: Sleeper said he had lived a sedentary lifestyle for more than a decade until he began running three years ago.
“I wanted to be healthy,” he said.
Sleeper became a strong enough runner to compete in his first half-marathon on Sept. 13, 2014. A year later, he competed in his first full marathon, the Savannah Rock ‘n’ roll Marathon. In January, he signed up for the Ironman 70.3 Augusta, his first triathlon.
He began a training regimen, running, swimming and biking three times. There were times he’d finish up a trivia contest late at night and “then I’d hit the road,” he said. On days off from work, he’d double up his sessions.
Sleeper was so dedicated to his training he skipped out on his wife’s 50th birthday party after an hour and a half so he could get some sleep ahead of a long bike ride and run the next morning.
GAMEPLAN: Sleeper said his goal is to finish the Ironman 70.3 Augusta in under seven hours. He also has a simpler goal.
“My motto is don’t drown, don’t crash and don’t trip,” he said.
Sleeper has completed every discipline on the actual course multiple times, he said. The main thing, he added, will be to be ready for the final event, the 13.1-mile run.
“From what I hear, it’s all about the run,” he said. “Everyone says to conserve energy.”
After this year’s event, Sleeper said he has an even bigger goal. In 2018, he wants to compete in a full 140.6 Ironman competition.
“This has really ignited a passion in me,” he said. “I want to be an Ironman.”