Tri It Now athlete's stories

We love hearing from our athletes about their participation
 in our events and how that has impacted them

We'd like to thank Lester for sharing his story about becoming a triathlete. Tri It Now is pleased to have helped him find this healthy activity to add to his life!

My name is Lester Benitez , Im originally from Guatemala. About 10 years ago I was a 300 lbs guy, in my early 40s, professional couch potato, never swam a lap in my life. As a kid I was an elite bmx & bike lover (punk riding bikes). Chasing soccer balls was my running background and I was a father of my just born miracle baby, Lance ( of course ). I was looking for the way to get in shape, be healthy to be around for my kid. One day I met a client, and now my friend, Donna Rostant who led me to triathlon. I google local races and clinics and I got in touch with Ina from Tri it now. I signed up for a clinic because I had no clue about triathlon!! Sprint/Olympic or Ironman was like English was to me 35 years ago when I moved to the USA for the first time (and I still struggle with it, you guys can see, lol). The clinics last 2 days, Coach Ina and Coach Anne Viviani (RIP) were amazing. I remember World Champion/Coach Viviani brought 2 of her medals from Kona (Ironman World Championship) and that day I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, BE A TRIATHLETE!!!!

Long story short, the clinic included a free race from Tri it now, so I signed up for 14.09 sprint  race in the middle of the summer. I remember finishing 56th overall and like 12th in my age group. I was just happy to survive.  I remember saying on the run why am I doing this ? but pain went away when I crossed finish line, haha. From that day on, the rest is history.  I went back a year later to the same race, 125 lbs lighter, and I won the overall!! Then I qualified for Team USA. I finished every distance in triathlon including IRONMAN.  I qualified for Boston Marathon and twice to 70.3 Ironman Worlds Championship. Now Im a father of another miracle baby, Joaquin. Sport achievements are cool, but still my goal at age of 50  is to see my kids graduating from college, and why not ? See my grandkids!!! Now as sponsored triathlete by SlayRx ,Peak Performance SP & Tri Coach Georgia, I raced all over the world. Some people asked me why I go back every year to race in Manassas, VA.  My answer is because Tri it Now is my HOME.

Looking forward to welcoming you to a race
back home with us this season, Lester!