Last Sunday Ben Kanute became the first man to win four in a row at the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, perhaps the most iconic event in the sport behind the Hawaiian Ironman. Kanute’s win at the race’s 40th edition tied him with Chris McCormack with four wins and leaving him only behind Mike Pigg’s five and Andy Potts’ six victories and Michellie Jones’ six straight and seven overall wins.
Kanute will be joining Slowtwitch today in our Reader Forum and answering your questions. You can visit that Ask Me Anything thread (reachable via that link).
In advance of the start of the AMA on the Forum we tossed out a few of our own to get the Phoenix-based pro warmed up.
Slowtwitch: Can you share why this race resonates with you so strongly and why you think you've managed to be so successful on this demanding course?
Kanute: The history, course, and competition all inspire me and keep me coming back to Escape from Alcatraz. It is such a unique race, and has such different challenges from a "normal" triathlon. It is as much a battle against the course and conditions as it is against your competition, so you truly have a great setup to see what you are made of. I think I do well here because of the toughness required,and the fact that I embrace the course and love it's various challenges.
ST: Did winning this year feel any more satisfying with the recent disappointment of not being selected to the US Olympic team?
Kanute: It is always great to get a win, and having family around makes it even better. I just try to focus on what I can control and enjoy every opportunity I have to stand on the start line.
ST: Looking back at these four wins, what are some of your most vivid memories, both good and bad?
Kanute: I love the history of the race. Looking back at the past winners is pretty amazing. 40 years is a long time to have a race, and being able to reflect back on that history and some of the greats in our sport racing there is pretty awesome. The swims always stand out, especially the difficult ones. The swim this year was particularly challenging, and made for a tough race all day. I feel like I remember the sand ladder each year too because that is a special kind of hurt that gets thrown in right after a beach run.
You can follow Kanute on Instagram at @benkanute