Coeur d’Alene 70.3 – Can’t Lose

Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there, it’s not about winning.  It’s about you, and your relationship to your family, yourself, and your friends.  Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye, and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth.  And that truth is that you did everything you could – there wasn’t one more thing you could have done.  Can you live in that moment?  As best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart.  With joy in your heart.  If you can do that, then you’re perfect.

– Friday Night Lights

There’s so much more to triathlon than winning.  Podiums are great. Championship races are fun. But, nothing motivates me more than seeing the lives I’ve changed throughout my triathlon journey — my aunt and uncle are now avid marathon runners after “forcing” them to do the underpants run in Hawaii; my mom has become an ultra-swimmer and triathlete; I’m able to still talk my uncle (Derek) to participant in these crazy Ironman races with me; and my wife is my gemstone prodigy.

I’m a quiet person by nature, leader by example, and let my actions do the talking.  Rather than surrounding myself in the negative energy that much of social media brings, I’ve focused on the select few that I coach and mentor.  I help them not only be better athletes, but also help mold their new, healthy lifestyle. If you are in the sport with the right intentions, you really can’t lose.

Dan Benoit reached out to me for coaching for his upcoming race, Coeur d’Alene 70.3

I’ve known the Benoit family since I was a little kid.  Dan’s interest in triathlon stems from his wife, Kalany, and his son, Matthew.  Dan’s entire family puts me to shame in the water.  I was fortunate to know Matt growing up.  Although I wasn’t into swimming or triathlon at the time, Matt was stand-out swimmer in high school.  He was a state champion in the 100 backstroke as well as a three-time All-American and USA Swimming Academic All-American who swam collegiately at the University of California. Kalany was an avid triathlete who participated in many Ironman events.

Dan lost his wife and son to cancer.  For Dan, Coeur d’Alene was so much more than the race.  This entire experience was a very emotional and heart-warming moment for him, his daughter (who participated in the relay), family members, and friends.  Although Dan impressed me by annihilating his personal best time by over an hour and a half, this was just a side-note to his epic day.

I’m so proud of you Dan. I know Matt and Kalany are smiling from above at your amazing endeavor, your growth as a human being, and the influential person you’ve become. Thank you for sharing your journey with me.

I’m sure everyone can learn from someone like Dan.  No matter what life struggles you are facing, whatever beef you have with certain people, in the grand scheme of things we need to be happy and live our lives to the fullest.  Thanks Dan for teaching me this very valuable life lesson.

Dan 2017 CDA 70.3


Dan 2019 CDA 70.3:


If you’d like to support Dan, our community is raising funds in support of cancer research.  Sign up or join Team Benoit for this year’s Swim Across American event in Seattle on September 7th.  

My race story is not as inspiring.

However, Becca and I had an amazing time in Coeur d’Alene.  We stayed far away from the hustle and bustle, enjoyed coffee with turkeys, peaceful hot tub sessions, frisbee golf, and listened to Tom Segura.  Our host, Carol, was fantastic. Carol, you are BOMB.COM. 


For the second race in a row, we both made improvements.  I do not feel like the 70.3 distance is my biggest strength so if I’m anywhere close to the podium, I know I’m in a good spot for the full.  My taper began about three days before this race. With minimal rest, I wanted to test myself to see how I felt in the later sections of this course to somewhat mimic how I’d feel in Canada next month.   This did not mean I was going to take this race lightly.  I do not believe in a “training race” and if I’m going to pay $300+ on an entry and spend my time traveling to it, I race em’ full gas.


Another personal best. Dan kicked my ass though (he was first in his division out of the water!). Reasons why I will never take myself seriously– a 60 year old beat me out of the water with a sub 28 swim.


I don’t know when triathlon became all about the bike, but I thought this was a swim/bike/run race.  I constantly remind myself to stay within myself on the bike, be patient, and constantly tell myself “this is not a bike race”.  People can brag all they want about bike splits after the race, but if they can’t back it up with a quality run, changes should be made.  I ride to the best of my abilities to ensure I have the run legs off the bike.

I’m short and small. The run will always be my weapon.  I could bike faster.  However, from experience I’ve learned that my fastest overall race times have come when I’ve had my fastest run splits – both in 70.3 and 140.6 distances.  It’s all about managing time gaps. This is the primary reason I like the full distance best; the marathon gives me more time to to wear out my competition and run down the field.

My bike split was very average. I look at some of the bike times in this highly competitive M30-34 age group and the bike is one of my definite flaws where I’m losing massive chunks of time.  However, I felt fresh and very peppy off the bike.


This was the second race in a row no one passed me in the half marathon and I felt like I was floating on air.  It felt effortless. My head was in a good spot as I felt confident I could post a speedy run time. The run course is flat and fast with lots of support.  It’s one of the highlights of my day every time I race here. The crowd support on the run, especially through the neighborhoods, is always enthusiastic and encouraging.

I ran a 1:22 off the bike and ran myself from 15th off the bike to the podium.  Becca went beast mode once again with one of the top amateur bike and run splits and finishing on the podium.  She ran a 1:26 half marathon.

My day is soon coming…


It was another great day.  Double podiums, pics with a world champ, post-race planking contests, hangin’ with Fishkin, long island ice teas, and a long drive home on the same day.



Canada full next.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

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Categories: Race Report, Races


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