Monday, October 17, 2011

PRO-File: James Bonney

The sport of triathlon attracts athletes from all backgrounds and numerous places around the world. Almost every nationality, age group, tax bracket, and level of athleticism is represented. However there are some athletes that take the sport to a level in which only few will ever reach. They eat, drink, sleep, and live multisport. They dine on open water swims for breakfast, munch on multi-hour bike rides for lunch, and destroy half marathons for dinner, with a foam roller bedtime snack.

When I think of these statuesque, speed-producing, superhuman athletes, I think of James Bonney. The 6 foot, 3 inch University of Texas Graduate and Division I All-American Swimmer was born in Hollywood, Florida (yes, there is one) on February 7th, 1972. Bonney's father was a civil engineer and you
ng James moved from Florida, to Massachusetts, and finally South Carolina, where he began swimming at the age of 10. He received a swimming scholarship to Pine Crest Prep School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he swam right into his high school's hall of fame for winning the Florida State Championship in the last 50 yards of the 500 freestyle final.

James attended the University of Texas at Austin on yet another swimming scholarship, graduating in 1996. During his time at UT, he did what only few have the privilege of accomplishing: qualifiying for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He did so by suffering through the 112 degree Texas heat at the 1994 Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, the first year for the race. He was the first athlete to exit the water that year in Hawaii, his first ever Ironman, finishing in 11:01:06. Not bad for the first-timer who even admitted he shouldn't have raced that year.

His finish on the Big Island would be the first of many for big James, and the first of many races in which he would exit the swim first. He returned to Kona in '96, finishing 2nd in his age group and turning pro the following year. Bonney's prowess in the water has led him to the finish line of 30 Ironman races (10 of which were at Kona), a 4th place finish at Ironman Arizona, multiple wins at Buffalo Springs, and continued domination on his home turf in the Texas Triathlon Series and Splash 'n Dash races. But perhaps his most meaningful, and lesser known, accomplishments, are the ones he has achieved when he's not racing.

s is married to world renown and passionate photographer, Elizabeth Kreutz, and he is the adoring father of two handsome young men: 2-year old Charlie, and 3-month old Benjamin. James and Liz both live and work in Austin, operating their successful companies, MyRaceRegistration and Kreutz Photography, from the friendly confines of their home. "You can have a family and be [successful]," says James. "It's tight but it's doable." He continues to prove that idea each day by balancing his training, work, and life at home.

James visits the shop regularly and he is always pleasant to be around. Whether he's finishing a six hour ride and stopping in for his recovery drink,
tuning up his Felt DA tri-bike, discussing the Tri Series or just visiting, we look forward to seeing him. He's simply a loving father, dedicated husband, successful business man, who happens to be really, really fast.

Next up for James, Ironman Florida on November 5th.

By Mike Thompson of Jack & Adam's Bicycles


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