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EverymanTri reporter Ben Greenfield goes for "Tri-Fecta" before conquering Kona (Part 1)

Posted Sep 20 2010 10:38am


Editor's Note: "Triathlete, coach and EverymanTri reporter, Ben Greenfield, decided that it would be a good idea to try to win three local short triathlons before attempting to conquer Kona this year. He calls it his "Tri-fecta" (get it). So did he win all three. You'll have to read below to find out."

Last, I decided to finish the local 2010 race season by attempting a "Tri-Fecta".

Yes, I completely made up this term, and it means "to win 3 triathlons in a row". I think that it is traditionally a phrase used in horse racing or something, but I'm no grammatical expert. I just wear spandex and do triathlons.

For the Tri-Fecta attempt, I chose the Palouse Sprint Triathlon, the Spokane Olympic Triathlon and the Grand Columbian Half-Ironman Triathlon - a true test of my speed in all distances, and a good alternative to doing boring long workouts to prepare for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

The first race, on Saturday, 09/11 was the Palouse Sprint Triathlon. I hold the course record here and I was out to beat it. In a sprint triathlon, you basically just go to a world of red-hot pain for under an hour. It's over fast, but it hurts.

The race started with a 500m pool swim, then a 10 mile bike, and finished with a 5K run.

Here's me leading in the swim (this was the last of 8 waves):


I came out of the water in first place and took of on the Gray Storm TT.


This was my first race on this beast, and it is F-A-S-T bike. It is basically the stiffest frame you can get anywhere, which basically means that just about every tiny chunk of wattage gets directed straight into the cranks on the bike.

I just held on for dear life, at about 26 miles per hour, and then ran the 5K. I don't know how far ahead I was coming off the bike, but I won the triathlon by almost 3 minutes and re-set the course record.

Here's me finishing the Palouse Sprint Triathlon:


And hacking up my lungs afterwards:


Result: Victory

So far so good.

On my drive back up to Spokane, I must admit that I seriously re-considered my Tri-Fecta attempt, since I was still reeling from the sprint triathlon. But at 4:30am the next morning, I peeled myself out of bed and headed out to make the next attempt for a win at the Spokane Olympic Triathlon.

* Please come back for part 2 tomorrow

1st photo by Dave Erickson

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