Michael Bennett

Club member since 2016, doing triathlons since about 2011. I’m a financial analyst and database administrator type guy, and a storyteller on the side. I grew up on a family farm in southern Idaho, the oldest of six boys. A few of my brothers are really into bicycling – 24 Hours of Moab, Arizona State Track Championships, and this was a way for me to do something active where I wouldn’t have to feel like I wasn’t failing in competition against my brothers. The tri realm is all mine, and it’s okay to be bad at it.

When/Where was your first triathlon?
Indoor races at the Saint Peters RecPlex got me started, and I continued with the Saint Peters Spring Triathlon in 2012.
What is your favorite and least favorite gel flavor?
No gels. For a longer race, I use mini Payday bars. Salt, sugar, fat, and protein in a little package with no melting.
What is your favorite race?
The Burley Idaho Spudman. The only distance is Olympic distance. Downstream swim in the Snake river, flat roads through potato fields, and a run along irrigation canal banks. My mom beat breast cancer a few years ago, and she got to see me beat the Olympic distance near where I grew up.
What is the most challenging moment you’ve had during a race?
Lake Saint Louis, probably 2014. I ran out of water, started cramping up all over my body, and the temperature on my bike computer said 105 degrees. It killed me to quit, but I knew I’d be taking an ambulance ride if I started the long course run.
What is your favorite place in or around St. Louis to train?
Saint Peters RecPlex. It’s really close to home, and the staff is very triathlete friendly.
What is your favorite thing about triathlon?
Supportive competitors – they celebrate my victories with me.
What is the one piece of tri-geek gear you can’t live without?
Racing snorkel. I know it looks weird, but doing this as a 300+ lbs guy already looks weird, so I use it anyway. It allows me to keep my breathing and asthma very well controlled during the swim.
Tip for new (or veteran) triathletes?
My three rules are Finish, Finish Happy, and No Ambulance Rides. I have no illusions that I’ll ever be on the podium, so I make sure I have achievable goals for myself in each race that aren’t dependent on anyone else. Sometimes it can be as simple as no backstrokes today, or thanking each volunteer and traffic officer on the course.