Once upon a time, Ben Klau’s idea of a home-cooked meal was a sleeve of Ritz crackers paired with a can of Coke. Rumor has it that until 2004, he believed the phrase “think outside the box” meant finding someplace to eat other than Jack in the Box. As Ben puts it, any place where he could shout into a clown’s head and receive food in return was fair game.
But one day, something switched. Ben traded in his two-pack of Twinkies for a pair of ASICS Gel-Kayanos, and got to training. After completing 2 marathons in 2004 and an Olympic-distance triathlon in 2005, Ben swore he was done with outlandish endurance events. But the lure of competition was too strong. Before he knew it, he was back in the game.
While most games revolve around fun, Ben’s involves waking up at 4:30 most days to run, bike, or swim before even starting work. This has been his life for the past 9 months as he trains for Ironman Canada. He’s managed to fit in 15-25 hours of training a week, often working out twice a day. How he found the time to craft complex proposals and wrangle client demands is beyond us.
And now, the question we’re all asking ourselves: Why does he do it? How does he do it? For Ben, it’s primarily a matter of “told ya so.”
“I love setting challenges, and doing things people said I couldn’t do,” states the great Klaumeister. “Running triathlons has taught my body to do things my mind never thought it could.”
Aside from the thrill of self-competition, Ben says his need to constantly train allows him to see incredible things he never would otherwise – like biking toward a perfectly timed sunrise in Santa Fe, or running through a vineyard in France accompanied by a little French farmdog for 3 miles.
This Sunday, Ben will see plenty as he and 2,800 others travel to Penticton, British Columbia to take on what’s easily one of the world’s toughest races. The Ironman course begins with a refreshing 2.4 mile swim, continues with a measly 112 mile bike ride, and rounds off with a casual 26.2 mile run.
Amazingly, Ironman won’t be the last we see of SuperBen. The man has a personal goal of running a marathon in all 50 states – and he’s knocked off 15 so far. We’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines, Benjamin. Most likely while wolfing down a Big Mac and fries.
Ben pauses atop Lake Tahoe’s Donner Pass during a training ride. Is it just us, or was this man built for breathable neon spandex?