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BEGINNER INSIGHT AND ADVICE FROM MR. THREE-TIME (OLYMPIAN) HUNTER KEMPER


unter Kemper sat down with USA Triathlon Life Editor-in-Chief Jayme Ramson and Rachel Scott, the novice triathlete on the cover, in October to talk beginner advice, overcoming obstacles and his hope for a fourth Olympic Games – and bringing home some hardware for the USA.


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USA TRIATHLON: Hunter, you’ve been involved in triathlon since the age of 10, competed in the Olympic Games three times and have been ranked No. 1 in the world. What’s the single most important advice you’d give a beginner triathlete?


HUNTER KEMPER: Get involved with your local community — running clubs, a cycling group or a masters swim team — that you can be a part of and get your friends doing what it is that you have started to love to do, which is the sport of triathlon. The more people that you can have around you doing what it is that you love to do would be great for encouragement and enjoyment.


Also, work on whatever discipline scares you the most — usually it’s the swim. Get comfortable in the open water. Or take the lane ropes out of the pool or swim in a pool that doesn’t have lane ropes so that you feel more like you’re in an open body. For


30 USA TRIATHLON WINTER 2011


cycling, make sure that you get your fit and positioning correct. Go to your local bike shop and get properly fitted. For running, make sure that you’re properly fitted with the right shoes and also get a gait analysis.


USAT: What do you remember most about your early triathlon days, back when you were racing IronKids?


HK: I did my first triathlon in 1986 when I was 10 years old. I did a kids race that was a 100-meter swim, 5k bike and 1k run, and it took me 17 minutes. I didn’t really know what to expect, so that eliminated a lot of the nerves because I really didn’t know what was going to come as a kid. I knew how to swim, so that wasn’t a problem. It was just the biking and running and figuring out the transitions — how do you put the shirt on when you’re wet and all this. I enjoyed it.

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