Chris Lieto joined the Golden Gate Tri Club this evening for a talk about training, racing Wildflower, his aspirations as a green athlete and his son’s penchant for mimicking his rival, Chris McCormack.
I am a big fan of Chris. I first saw him speak in my green days of triathlon, just prior to Vineman 70.3, my 3rd triathlon ever and my first Half Ironman. In ’07, I listened to Chris – known for his many bike course records – talk about racing the course smart and how to gain time on the downhill. Since then, Chris has joined with K-Swiss for sponsorship and raced his best performance at the Ironman Championship in Kona, finishing in 6th place in ’07. Last year, I was fortunate enough to tag along in a pro spotter vehicle on the bike course at Kona. I got to watch the race unfold right in front of me and cheer Chris and the other athletes on.
Chris started his talk off with a great video of his son Kaiden, who is now 5. Kaiden clearly takes after Dad, dressed in oversized K-Swiss gear, he runs mini-races and asks what number did I get? Chris’ point with this, was that kids don’t have limits and have endless amounts of energy. As adults we lose this ability to dive head on into life and we adhere to arbitrary limits.
Little Kaiden doesn’t let limits stop him. Chris then told a story about coming home one afternoon to find Kaiden dressed in full K-Swiss gear, with one of Chris’ race numbers on, running around in the backyard with his sitter. Chris, being a proud father, thought, wow he really wants to be like me! But when Chris asked little Kaiden what he was doing, he was a bit surprised to find that Kaiden said he was Chris McCormack and the sitter was Chris Lieto. Baffled, Lieto asked, Why aren’t you me? Kaiden’s response: because McCormack wins. Ahh, the truth hurts.
So now Lieto has made it a charge to race every opportunity he can again McCormack. You can watch them go head to head at the UVAS Morgan Hill Sprint in May.
Chris gave a great run through of Wildflower, the hills, the heat, nutrition. I wonder though, do the pros really camp? Of course, if you’ve got the Green Machine, you probably have a nice bed setup in there.
Shortly after my trip to Kona, I received a pair of limited edition K-Swiss Ironman K-onas. I love the shoes, they are light weight, very breathable and look sweet. So of course I wore my shoes tonight. And after the talk, I had Chris sign my right shoe. Now they are even cooler.
It won’t make me faster though, ahh the truth hurts.