Up close with Kevin Collington

Kevin Collington showed promise with his win at the 2007 USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals for the University of Florida Gators. He held his own in 2010 when he advanced to the elite ranks and placed 5th American and 63rd overall in the 2010 ITU World Championship Series, took the runner-up slot at the 2010 Chicago Triathlon and 8th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. In 2011, he was 5th at the New York City Triathlon and in 2012, a 5th at Rev3 Anderson (SC) and a 3rd at Timberman 70.3 indicated that his future would likely be at the middle distances.

At the beginning of the 2013 season, Collington decided to leave the haven of the USA Triathlon Elite program and committed full time to an independent Boulder, Colorado training base – with a primary focus on the 70.3 distance. His breakthrough came at Ironman 70.3 St George, where he finished 2nd to Brent McMahon of Canada and took home the US Pro Championship. Giving credence to his performance were some of the stars who finished behind him – Andy Potts, Ivan Vasiliev, Matt Reed, TJ Tollakson, Luke McKenzie, Ivan Raña, Trevor Wurtele and Greg Bennett. Making it even sweeter, he rode a BMC frame he bought on E-Bay – which led to a BMC sponsorship.

Proving he was no one-hit wonder, Collington followed that up with a 2nd place finish behind Terenzo Bozzone at Ironman 70.3 Florida, and ahead of internationally renowned Dirk Bockel.

Collington’s 2013 season goal races are Hy-Vee 5i50 in Des Moines and the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas.

All photographs © Timothy Carlson

After spending the past few seasons in USAT’s Elite Athlete Program jumping between Chula Vista, Colorado Springs and Clermont, Kevin opted for a permanent training base in Boulder.

Swiss bicycle company BMC provided full support for Kevin after he won his Ironman 70.3 US Championship title aboard a BMC he purchased on E-Bay (E-Bay frame in the box seen here).

Pre-ride on day before Boulder 5i50 included 6:30 AM coffee at North Boulder Amante Café. Perfectly suited to cycling enthusiasts with the Tour de France playing in the background.

Pre-race ride included a final ascent up Olde Stage Road.

Earlier in the week above Olde Stage.

A quick transition to his ON running shoes for a final pre race run.

Kevin’s Saturday pre-race workout included 30 minutes easy with 6x15 second pickups.

Mid-morning breakfast with girlfriend, professional Lindsey Jerdonek, at the Walnut Café.

Final pre-race check on his aero bars and arm pads.

After a sub-par 8th fastest, 19:24 swim, Collington tries to make up time on Olde Stage Road climb.

Mid-run, Collington holds off Denis Vasiliev (background) to take 7th place.

Collington finished behind girlfriend Lindsey Jerdonek (5th pro woman) after the gender-handicapped pro start, but he qualified for the $500,000 Hy-Vee 5i50 finale.

At Rally Sport Athletic Club, Kevin works out with Grant Holicky’s swim squad under guest coach Neal Henderson. Sharing the lane with Jessica Broderick (green cap) and next lane Lisa Norden (blue cap), Flora Duffy (white cap) and XTERRA pro Will Kelsay.

Kevin gestures between sets.

Collington pushes hard.

Kevin and Lindsey share a post-workout moment at Rally Sport.

Kevin gets a massage from Todd Plymale-Mallory of Integrative Healing Acupuncture and Wellness www.ihacupuncture.com. Todd works on numerous pro athletes in Boulder.

Joe Santos of Davis Wheelworks in Davis, California gives Kevin a precise bike fit while on a trip to Boulder.

Kevin sports Skins during a twilight run at the Boulder Res.

A twilight portrait of Kevin Collington and Lindsey Jerdonek at the Boulder Reservoir.