Q & A

Biography
Q & A

FULL NAME: Paul Benjamin Hodel Collins

NICKNAME(S):
Just call me Ben

MARRIED?:
not quite yet.

DATE OF BIRTH:
June 27, 1983

WEB PAGE:
Wait, really?

BIRTHPLACE:
Seattle, WA

CURRENT RESIDENCE:
Chicago – as of mid-2012. I’ve also lived in Seattle, New York City, Honolulu, and Colorado Springs (at the Olympic Training Center).

EDUCATION:
Garfield HS (my inner-city public school kicks your private school’s butt)
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University
Soon to start an MBA

HEIGHT:
5’10″

WEIGHT:
165

FAVORITE RACE:
Hy-Vee 5150 Championships. Great course, great crowd, great city.

FAVORITE TRAINING RIDE:
Tantalus, Honolulu, HI (5 miles, 2,000 ft., with views of UH campus, Downtown Honolulu, Diamond Head, and the ocean.)

COACH:
Mike Doane from Colorado Springs

ANY MENTORS:
Victor Plata
Loren Pokorny
Kurt Chambers
Chet the Jet (the guy has never eaten a fruit or a vegetable in his life, but that’s not why we love him.)

FAVORITE RACE FOOD:
Oatmeal with raisins and nuts

WORST EXPERIENCE IN A RACE:
I rolled a tubular tire at Worlds in 2006, broke my wrist, fixed the flat (after about 15 minutes of searching for the missing valve extender that turned out to be inside carbon rim), continued to ride, though I’d clearly lost my 2.5 minute lead, came to the same spot on the next lap, got nervous and let a faster rider turning on my inside push me into the same barricade that I had moved while looking for my valve extender 15 minutes earlier. This time I dislocated my clavicle and broke my wrist, along with losing my chance at a world title.

FUNNY MOMENTS IN A RACE:
not so many funny triathlon stories. There was a bit of a stalker on Oahu, however. He would come up to me after races and tell me he how much he hated me, and how he planned to beat me. He always drove off blasting classical music out of his mini-van. One morning he showed up at my friends house (they had never met) trying to get a ride to the Mountain Man Triathlon, which I was racing as a relay runner. My friend was a little frightened by the man’s unkempt appearance, but upon declining to offer a ride the man became hostile. My friend ran away, then jumped in the car before the guy could catch him.
At the race we heard that this guy had already been caught at a local bike shop attempting to steal a tri-suit (after telling everyone in the store that he would be the next world champion, of course), but was run off by the owner. Just as the story was being told, however, we hear commotion in the transition area, and see that there’s a guy sitting by one of the pro’s bikes, wearing a filthy white t-shirt, no shoes, and letting everyone know he was going to win the race. The race director, Raul Boca jogged over to talk to the guy, but before anything was resolved, the man took the pro’s shoes and ran off into the jungle. That was the last I heard of him, and I’m pretty sure those shoes were never returned.

Favorite EATS:
Salmon, Fruit, nut butter, chocolate – or anything at all if I’m hungry enough.

What’s in my IPOD?
KEXP Song of the day Podcast (100s of them)
NPR Podcasts (Today, Freshair, etc.)
Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square podcast

IF I WASN’T A TRIATHLETE I’D BE…:
Trying to be the best in the world at something else.

QUOTES I LIVE BY:
Try anything twice, just in case it’s an acquired taste.
Do it for the story. That alone makes even the worst adventures worthwhile.