The Tale Of Two Triathletes

>> Monday, January 26, 2015

ONE: BFF Pro Triathlete Devon Palmer is turning Amateur.

After earning tens of dollars in the illustrious world of pro triathloning, Devon has announced his new amateur status for 2015. Here's an excerpt from his post last week:

I am very excited to announce that for the 2015 triathlon season I will be taking a big step forward and racing as an amateur! This is a huge move and a major decision and something that I am confident will impact the sporting world from top to bottom. I am leaving behind the rough and tumble rodeo of professional racing for the glitz and glamor of amateurism. Am I ready to race in the big leagues? After spending five years developing in the salt mines of pro racing I know I am crusty enough to finally bark with any of the big dog age groupers out there. Why make the leap now? It’s my time.

When he announced this on Facebook, there was a lot of feedback. Allow me to direct you to a few of the 45 comments:

But seriously, those 6 comments were made within 5 minutes. DOES NOBODY WORK?

Devon's 6 years younger than me, so we won't be competing in the same age group. UNLESS it's a small race that has 10-year age groups, in which case we could be going head-to-head for the first time in the summer of 2017 (he'll be 30, and I'll be 36). Stick around 2+ years to see if that happens...

TWO: Local Speedy Amateur Triathlete Heather Lendway is turning Pro.

As Minnesota loses a slightly-better-than-average-looking male pro triathlete, we are gaining an amazing female pro triathlete. I've mentioned Heather a bit since this past summer when we officially met at the Trinona Triathlon. She is insanely speedy, completely humble, and has little body/facial hair. (Sort of the complete opposite of Devon.) And her Dad makes a mean apple crisp.

She started tris in 2012, doing 6 races and finishing 3rd at the lowest. (Winning a few too.) She was named Minnesota's Rookie of the Year.

In 2013, she won 8 out of the 10 triathlons that she entered, and 4 of those wins came with course records (INCLUDING a course record and win at the USAT Olympic Distance Age Group National Championships).

Then in 2014, she entered 13 races, won 12 of those, and 9 of those wins came with course records! She got a ANOTHER course record at the National Championships (making her a back-to-back National Champ), but failed to get a course record at the ITU Olympic Distance Age Group World Championship in Canada. But she still won. Yep, WORLD CHAMP. It will be fun to see what she can do as a pro.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! (At the ITU World Championship race in Canada.)

After having won the World Championship!

Her pro card.

I like this because stinky Minneapolis loses a pro triathlete, and awesome St. Paul gains one. Nice.

Sidenote: Heather's only non-win in 2014 was a 2nd place finish at her first draft-legal race in Michigan. I don't know this for sure, but it seems like she was thinking about going pro and decided to try her hand at an ITU draft-legal race before making the leap. Very few people around here knew she was doing that race: I think only her family and the guys at Gear West Bike and Tri knew about it (because she borrowed a road bike from them so should would have legal equipment to race an event like that). Again, I don't know that for sure - I'm just sharing my speculations as if they were facts. I'm like "The National Enquirer" or the "STAR Magazine" of Minnesota triathlon news (but with less celebrity crotch-shots).

Check out Heather's race reports and blog posts on her website, and follow her on twitter.


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