August 2011 - Spokes Magazine

August 2011 - Spokes Magazine

Prodigious Potential

by ron cassie

Like nearly every other triathlete, Hunter Lussi says he got hooked on the sport after

his first triathlon. Lussi’s first triathlon was just earlier than most.

he was 6.

No joke, Lussi was six years old when he tackled his

first kid’s triathlon in Bethesda. The same year at

Lake Placid’s Ironman event, he ran across the finish

line with his dad, Craig.

“I enjoyed my first triathlon, although it was a little

scary at first,” Lussi, now 17, recently told SPOKES.

“When I crossed the finish line with my dad, I

thought, ‘I want to do this someday. I want to break

the world record someday.”

Every kid dreams of breaking a world record. Lussi

actually did it.

Seven years later, at 13, Lussi, now just finishing

his junior year at the St. Paul’s School for Boys in

Baltimore, completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile

bike, 26.2-mile run ChesapeakeMan triathlon. He is

believed to be the youngest athlete ever to complete

a full Ironman-distance triathlon.

“The Guinness Book of World Records said they didn’t

know of anyone younger, but they didn’t want to put it

in there because they thought it might lead to parents

pushing their kids to beat it,” Lussi explains.

Lussi claims he wasn’t a gifted athlete as kid –

although he certainly comes from athletic parents. His

mom, Jeanette, beat his father to the finish line at the

above-mentioned Lake Placid race. Both of his parents,

now in their late 40s, continue to compete today.

Lussi says he spent way too much time on the couch,

playing video games and eating pizza and junk food,

and guzzling soda when he was younger.

“I was always fat and my younger brother and sister

were the skinny ones,” Lussi says. Even at 10, as he

became the youngest competitor ever to finish the

legendary Columbia Triathlon, and on to 11 and 12,

he remained chubby, he says.

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6 August 2011

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