Florida-born Kevin Collington, 29, is going into his 11th year as a triathlete. Collington joined the TriGators at the University of Florida and won Collegiate Nationals in 2007. Following graduation he decided to chase the Olympic dream, focusing on draft-legal racing for four years. In 2013 he made the decision to switch to long-distance racing, a style that better suit his strengths. Collington proved this was a good choice when he won the US Pro Championship at Ironman 70.3 St. George in May 2013. His 2013 season also included a 2nd at Ironman 70.3 Florida, 5th at REV3 Quassy, 5th at the Hyvee 5150 Championship and 6th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas. I caught up with Kevin in Chula Vista, Calif., where he is currently training.
1) How is 2014 going so far? What are your goals for the season?
2014 is going well so far. I broke my ankle at the end of last year and that ended up being a slow healing injury, but it’s finally getting back to full strength and training is starting to ramp up. 2014 will be very similar to last year in that I will again be targeting HyVee and 70.3 World Champs as my key races for the year. I will be doing an Iron distance race at the end of the year, though, so that’s uncharted territory.
2) What was your best performance of 2013 and why?
I think my 5th at HyVee was my best result. I executed my race plan well and all the work I put in on the TT bike over the summer paid off, so I was quite happy with that result.
3) You spent 2013 in Boulder- any plans to return? Did living in Colorado contribute to your consistent season of success last year?
I will be returning to Boulder as my home base again in March. I’m currently enjoying some warm weather training in Southern California and with any luck the polar vortex will die down soon and Boulder will start to get warmer.
Living in Boulder definitely contributed to my success last year. I do well with the moderate altitude and everything there is conducive to good training – good roads, good trails, lots of pools, a good community of athletes, etc.
4) Who are you representing for your 2014 season? Any new sponsors on board this year?
I’ll be riding my BMC TM01 again this year – I’m still a bit star-struck to be wearing the BMC logo since I started off last year with a TM02 that I purchased myself. I’m also continuing to work with Skins compression, Shimano, On running, local Boulder nutrition company Skratch Labs, Blueseventy and ISM saddles. Also the New York Athletic Club has been a supporter of me for a long time and I’ve become good friends with a lot of people on the NYAC triathlon team, so I’m happy to still have them as my home away from home in New York City.
A couple of new sponsors for me this year are Kurt Kinetic and Rudy Project. Last year I spent the whole season in Boulder without a proper trainer, and to say the weather there was unpredictable is an understatement! It’s nice to have Kinetic on board as they make great trainers with a very road-like feel. As for Rudy Project, I’m excited to get my hands on one of their new Wing57 TT helmet, I hear it’s fast.
5) What is your favorite race and why?
Hamburg WTS is my favorite race, it has such an incredible atmosphere around it. Hundreds of thousands come out to watch the elite races, it’s unlike any other race I’ve done.
6) How has triathlon shaped who you are today?
Triathlon started out as a hobby but now that I’m pursuing it as a full time job it defines my life (in a good way). It’s the relentless pursuit of excellence, and it’s a ton of fun as well. I wish I had the work ethic I have now back in my younger years, I might have gotten better grades!
Keep tabs on Kevin’s 2014 season, he is one to watch!