Greg Bennett and wife Laura Bennett were riding high in 2007 when he scored a perfect 5-for5 wins in the Life Time Fitness Olympic distance series and won $500,000 in prize money and bonuses. That same year, Laura won $200,000 at the inaugural Hy-Vee triathlon and also took home a sponsor’s Hummer. Being intelligent, family-oriented types, they didn’t blow all their prize money on fancy clothes and buying drinks for all the swells in all the usual watering holes. Instead, they built a beautiful house in Boulder’s gorgeous Wonderland Lake area and went about their business.
In Laura’s case, that meant making her first Olympic team and making creative training choices to sidestep a malfunctioning leg and take home a top American 4th place at Beijing. In Greg’s case, that meant overcoming an early season slip to take his third straight Life Time Fitness series crown and beginning to build their coaching business, starting with a strong 8th place finish at Ironman Hawaii for budding Swiss star Matthias Hecht under Bennett’s direction.
In 2009, Laura has spent the better part of the year getting her pre-Beijing injuries in line. Greg himself was out of action with leg troubles until July when he opened up with a cautious third place at Minneapolis and took a strong win at New York in the second round of the Life Time Series. But Greg’s year took a turn for the worse when he got hit by a daydreaming driver just a mile from home after an exhilarating 55-mile training ride up Boulder’s mountains.
A busted nose, cut and bruises on his leg and a badly twisted shoulder put Bennett back on a long road to recovery. Five weeks after the hit, Bennett was able to swim and bike and run again, aided by an intense regimen of recovery.
Photo gallery by Timothy Carlson
Greg and Laura enjoy a windless morning on the glassy surface of Wonderland Lake a short distance from their new home. A nice neighborhood – Siri Lindley once lived down the street, Frank Shorter is just a few houses away.
Early in the morning, Greg does recovery stretches while Laura does stretches her arch over a roller to ward off plantar fasciitis.
Greg administers his own ultrasound before a morning run.
Before a short recovery run, Greg and Laura adjust their socks to avoid any blisters.
Greg ices his foot and sips a nutritious pre-run smoothie.
Greg and Laura make a short run around Wonderland Lake.
Further along their run.
A post run psoas stretch. A few moments later, Greg returns the favor.
Greg shares a laugh with good friend and defending Ironman Hawaii champion Craig Alexander on the Flatirons Athletic Club pool deck.
Greg mugs with Verne Scott, Dave Scott’s dad, while Dave’s sister Jane directs the popular masters workout like a bear trainer at the circus. No whip, just a clear as a bell voice and good multitasking timing.
After weeks of enforced swim idleness, Greg leaps into the workout with gusto.
Still off his game in the swim, Bennett lined up fifth and last of a lane that included Ironman world champions Alexander and Chrissie Wellington, Matty Reed, and fellow Aussie Olympian Simon Thompson.
Greg shares a light moment with Chrissie between sets in the fast lane.
Greg and Laura eat breakfast at the Walnut Café with Lars Finanger.
Greg chats with the man he is coaching, Swiss star Matthias Hecht, about afternoon workouts.
With a new bike after the crash, Bennett gets a careful fitting at Retul in Boulder. The verdict? Change the seat height two millimeters.
Back home, Bennett uses the NormaTec MVP compression machine to speed healing in his legs. Looks like a hockey goalie in pads.
One of Greg Bennett’s his least favorite triathlon activities – tuning up and filling up his tires before a late afternoon ride. If he was king of the universe, he’d have a personal bike mechanic take care of it all.
On a perfect, sunny day, Greg and Laura take an easy recovery ride up Left Hand Canyon to Jamestown.
A little more worn down than usual thanks to the demands of the recovery process, Greg Bennett lets the equipment in the garage find its own order. As you might notice from the pictures, their beautiful new house awaits amenities like furniture while subsisting on triathlon essentials.