Laura Bennett is an American professional triathlete. She comes from a long line of triathletes and is married to one as well. Her husband, Greg Bennett is an Australian Olympic triathlete and a fellow Oakley athlete. Bennett competes on the ITU racing circuit and occasionally dabbles in other lengths including half Ironmans.
Early in her athletic career, Bennett was a swimming star. She took up the sport at the age of 12 and occasionally mixed in some distance running in high school. She was the Florida state champion in the mile and two mile for two years in high school. She attended Southern Methodist University where she was co-captain of the swim team. Bennett lead the 400 medley relay team to the 1997 NCAA championship.
Turning to triathlons, Bennett joined the ITU racing circuit in 2001 and has enjoyed tremendous success ever since. She has won a number of ITU World Cup races including Gamagori in 2001, St. Anthony’s in 2003, Tongyeong in 2003 and Des Moines in 2007. Bennett also owns gold medals in the 2003 and 2010 USAT Elite Championships at the Olympic distance. One of her most recognizable accomplishments was her performance at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Bennett took fourth place in the triathlon with a time of 2:00:21.54. Bennett was the final member to qualify for Team USA for the 2012 London Olympics with her third place finish at the ITU World Triathlon Series San Diego in 2012. She will look to earn a spot on the podium in London.
Bennett was selected as the 2010 Olympic/ITU Female Athlete of the year and has been an ambassador for American triathlon during her career.
Q & A
When did you first start training in life? Where and why?
Probably the day I could walk, I have only known athletics in my life. I tried or played every sport I could growing up. I think everyday I was outside being an active kid has added to where I am today. I grew up in Florida
One sport wasn’t enough? What got your into the multi-sport arena?
I must have a short attention span and need to be entertained! And it takes three sports to keep interested! My family got me into triathlon.
When did you turn pro?
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
There are three experiences where if I retell the story I can actually muster the feelings instantly. 1. Winning the largest prize purse ever offered and a Hummer on the day in Des Moines, IA – Hyvee World Series Event 2007. 2. Making the Olympic Games in 2008, breaking the threshold of the Olympic stadium in opening ceremonies and the US team is announced the stadium erupted. 3. And an intrinsic memory was a childhood dream of being in a sprint finish with the legendary Michellie Jones. I saw her outsprint Karen Smyers when I was a Jr. at world championship in Manchester, England. I was a high school track runner at the time and I thought I would love that challenge – if Michellie is the best! In 2003, I had my opportunity at World Championships in Queenstown, NZ. We found ourselves in a sprint finish and I got her. I finished with silver medal, but I was so happy you would of thought I had won!
What is your best discipline and why?
I believe the swim is my best. I swam in college, and have perfected my stroke since. Comparatively to the girls I race, right now it is.
If you had a discipline that needed work, which would it be and why?
The run, because I would like to be running better in the sport. It is very much about the run right now, and it is what is winning right now!
Your favorite distance?
If I could do super sprint distance I would. The shorter the better ;) Olympic distance isn’t bad.
Preferred race day outfit …
Oakley white RadarEdge with red iridium lens and Champion Systems race swim suit
Who was your inspiration growing up?
Within your sport:
Outside your sport:
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
I think as a kid my brothers telling me I wasn’t capable. Now that I am older, its the love of the game!
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
Not as much as I would like, I can always see the consequence before I can jump into the risky act! ;( Hardly ever seems to convince me!
What is your favorite course?
Sydney. Australia – Love the backdrop of the Opera House / Harbour Bridge – just brilliant!
What is the venue that you purely dread and why?
Any racing in Mexico. I rarely have a good one there. Often fearful of getting sick from drinking the water. Holidaying there no problem, but racing in peak fitness and wanting no variables like getting sick, it is tough.
Finish this sentence: “Oakley is..."
If you weren’t killing it in the tri scene, what would you be doing for a living?
I think I would like to be in the chiropractic field.
What is a hidden talent you have other than your sport?
Not sure I have found it yet. ;)
What is the best song to practice to?
"Good Feeling" – Flo Rida
Jodie Foster / Helen Hunt
Vacation Spot: Noosa Australia
Airline: British Airways
Candy: Any Australian Lollies
Movie: tie: Wedding Crashers / Hangover