Father and daughter age group athletes represent Team USA at the Grand Final

by Courtney Akrigg on 10 Sep, 2018 12:53 • Español
Father and daughter age group athletes represent Team USA at the Grand Final

Father and daughter Mike Buenting and Bella Buenting are age group triathletes, honoured to be lining up and representing Team USA, for triathlon, at this month’s World Triathlon Grand Final, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Triathlon has made me a better person! And it makes me smile each and every day!
_Mike Buenting

Do you have an interesting story to share?
Mike:
Many interesting stories.  My personal story is one of a high school cross country and track runner who went into the music business let his health slip for many years, gained weight, had a father who was diabetic and ended up passing away in 2008 from a brain stroke. My father saw some of my early on races when I started in triathlon right before he died and I remember how proud of me he was, the hugs at finish lines and the cheers during the races! My father was unhealthy for many years but a great man! When I made the choice to get healthy again and found triathlon as a passion it became a way of life with me and with my family!
Bella:
I started racing at a very early age beginning with 5k’s at age 6, swimming at age 7 and then Triathlon at age 8.  We are an active family and it is something we can all do together. I love being competitive and having a healthy lifestyle.

How did you get into the sport of triathlon?
Mike:
I got into the sport of triathlon, when I was getting into being a marathon runner and improving my running again, and then discovered being a cyclist again. Then I met this coach at a local gym one day signed up for his class then signed up for a triathlon and then was hooked! It became my passion!
Bella:
My dad got me started when I was around 8 because I had started swimming and running and he had just started doing triathlons so I decided to try them since it has two of the sports I love and I have kept doing them ever since.

What is your favourite discipline and why?
Mike:
This is a tough one! Two years ago, I would say the run, because I love to run and I’m a really fast runner it’s a strength. This year I have embraced swimming and love it! But I think at the moment the bike is my favourite.
What does the triathlon community mean to you?
Mike:
The triathlon community is like family! It truly is amazing and I love it! Being in transition on race mornings is so fun! It’s a very supportive community, inspiring, motivating and the friendships developed through triathlon are just awesome! I love this sport! We compete against each other, but we support each other! And we cheer for each other! It’s all fun!
How motivated are you ahead of the Grand Final?
I’m so motivated! It’s been my focus, my goal race all 2018!! I have been training with race day in mind! I switched my training up for 2018 to focus on this event and to peak on race day! I think of this race every day! But no matter what happens on that race course it will be all smiles, gratitude and joy!

Will anyone be there to support you on the day?
Mike:
Yes, my amazing wife Shannon! Actually, race day is our wedding anniversary! It will be 18 years of marriage that day. Shannon or we call her SW is the best, I can’t do any of this without her! And my daughter Isabella (who races the sprint race) will be there cheering for me on my race day! And Bella is the greatest! I race and train so hard to inspire her and make her proud of her old man! And Team USA athletes, coaches, managers will all be there supporting us! Tim and Lauren are the best!

What are you most looking forward to?
Mike:
This is tough! I’m looking forward to so much on this trip. But I think watching my daughter Bella race her first World Championships in the Sprint race is the most exciting and nerve-wracking thing! I love this girl to pieces, am so proud of her and she is tough and works hard so I’m really excited to see how she does!  (But I’m also excited for a great vacation with my family, some snorkelling, and hang with some Kolas)
Bella:
I am looking forward to competing at such a big event for the first time and also experiencing a new country

What does it mean to represent your country for triathlon?
Mike:
It’s a huge honour!! I’ve raced for Team USA 3 times now in the sport of Duathlon and it’s just hard to put into words other than AWESOME! These races are the most fun! It’s hard to qualify to get the chance to come here and race for Team USA so you want to show up and represent for them and make them proud!
Bella:
I am really honoured to be representing team USA as I have wanted to compete at a worlds event and represent my country and I now have the opportunity.

Who or what inspires you?
Mike:
I’m inspired by many people. But I must say my 15 soon to be 16-year-old daughter is one of my biggest inspirations! How she handles all she does at such a young age, how she gets up puts in the work and pushes her limits chasing her goals is really cool! Songs and powerful lyrics also inspire and motivate me, I’m a big music guy! And any athlete willing to push their limits, chase goals, stay dedicated to their passions is inspiring as well!
Bella:
My dad is one of the people who inspires me because he is always working hard and putting in so much effort to training for races.

Why triathlon?
Mike:
Triathlon is an amazing sport it blends three very difficult disciplines into one sport. It allows me to train and race and enjoy three of my passions all at once!  Swim, bike, run! Triathlon is a challenging sport it’s a sport that really tests a person’s limits, their commitment to the training for three disciplines, it inspires, motivates, and teaches you a lot about yourself. That if you can endure all that Triathlon can toss at you then you can withstand many of life’s obstacles and makes you a stronger person!

Anything else that you would like to share about your triathlon journey?
Mike:
2018 World Championships triathlon race is a journey! And it’s the most special journey I have ever been on! It’s a journey I get to take with my daughter Isabella with me on! Isabella and me get to race on the biggest stage in the World for Triathlon!! ITU World Championships Grande Final.
And that both of us qualified together to be part of Team USA is so special! This is one of my most amazing memories and events ever! This is just priceless! I’ve spent 2018 getting to train and coach Bella preparing for this race day in Sept.  Isabella wakes up at 5am comes to the track to run speed workouts with myself and other adults/friends of ours, she comes to a lake and open water swims with us, I ride miles and miles per week on the bike with her teaching her biking skills. The time together we have shared training for this race is simply amazing! And it’s so special to me! When you share the same passions with your kids and you get to do this stuff well you just can’t describe the amazing special feelings you have inside and how it brings you closer to your children and strengthens your bond as parent and child! My many years as a Triathlete has been such a great journey of friendships, pain, heartache, success, failure and pride! It’s tough me so much about what mentally and physically I can endure! My journey is one of going from an out of shape little extra weight guy consumed by work, to one of aligning my mind-body-soul and losing over 40 pounds, going from size 34 waist to a 27/28 waist. It’s my peace, my quiet time, my inspiration and creative time. It helps me show my daughter that if you work hard, if you want something bad enough you can achieve it with dedication, focus and passion!

Triathlon has made me a better person! And it makes me smile each and every day!


Article gallery
Related Event: 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast
12 - 16 Sep, 2018 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Vincent Luis FRA 01:44:34
2. Mario Mola ESP 01:44:48
3. Richard Murray RSA 01:44:56
4. Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:45:01
5. Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 01:45:04
Results: Elite Women
1. Ashleigh Gentle AUS 01:52:00
2. Vicky Holland GBR 01:52:02
3. Katie Zaferes USA 01:52:33
4. Laura Lindemann GER 01:52:53
5. Kirsten Kasper USA 01:53:15
Results: U23 Men
1. Tayler Reid NZL 01:44:08
2. Samuel Dickinson GBR 01:44:20
3. Bence Bicsák HUN 01:44:31
4. Léo Bergere FRA 01:44:39
5. Jørgen Gundersen NOR 01:44:44
Results: U23 Women
1. Taylor Knibb USA 01:53:47
2. Cassandre Beaugrand FRA 01:55:22
3. Angelica Olmo ITA 01:56:39
4. Nicole Van Der Kaay NZL 01:57:02
5. Erika Ackerlund USA 01:57:18
Results: Junior Men
1. Csongor Lehmann HUN 00:52:49
2. Paul Georgenthum FRA 00:53:12
3. Philipp Wiewald GER 00:53:14
4. Boris Pierre FRA 00:53:20
5. Lorcan Redmond AUS 00:53:22
Results: Junior Women
1. Cecilia Sayuri Ramirez Alavez MEX 00:59:11
2. Erin Wallace GBR 00:59:23
3. Kate Waugh GBR 00:59:34
4. Pauline Landron FRA 00:59:46
5. Romy Wolstencroft AUS 00:59:51
Results: PTWC Men
1. Jetze Plat H2 NED 00:57:03
2. Geert Schipper H2 NED 00:59:02
3. Joseph Townsend H2 GBR 01:00:27
4. Giovanni Achenza H2 ITA 01:01:04
5. Ahmed Andaloussi H1 FRA 01:01:31
Results: PTWC Women
1. Emily Tapp H1 AUS 01:08:58
2. Wakako Tsuchida H1 JPN 01:09:51
3. Lauren Parker H1 AUS 01:12:44
4. Mona Francis H2 FRA 01:14:55
5. Ahalya Lettenberger H2 USA 01:15:14
Results: PTS2 Men
1. Mark Barr USA 01:06:35
2. Andrew Lewis GBR 01:07:17
3. Jules Ribstein FRA 01:08:23
4. Mohamed Lahna ITU 01:09:18
5. Maurits Morsink NED 01:09:57
Results: PTS2 Women
1. Allysa Seely USA 01:17:54
2. Fran Brown GBR 01:19:44
3. Hailey Danz USA 01:20:44
4. Liisa Lilja FIN 01:23:30
5. Rakel Mateo Uriarte ESP 01:25:23
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