With the world of triathlon preparing for a blockbuster season in 2024, the sport’s professionals have a number of big decisions to make as they plan the year ahead.
As one of triathlon’s most versatile stars, with racing experience ranging from Super League Triathlon all the way up to the Ironman, American Ben Kanute has the capabilities to turn his hand to any of a number of opportunities.
Speaking with TRI247, the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship runner-up explained that despite the various options on offer, winning the crown jewel of triathlon, Kona, would be his primary target.
“It’s what I grew up watching and wanting to win”
Having made his full distance debut at IRONMAN Arizona in 2022, where he secured an IRONMAN World Championship slot that was deferred to Kona 2024, Kanute has had his eye on a showdown on the Big Island of Hawai’i for some time.
“Kona is one of, if not the biggest races in triathlon. It’s what I grew up watching and wanting to win, and I am super motivated to take it on.”
Despite being relatively new to the distance, having only raced two Ironmans in his career, Kanute is not discouraged, stating that whilst a record day will be required to win in October, his inexperience means he has plenty of room to improve.
“[It will take] a record day [to win]. The sport isn’t getting slower and I’m training to improve across the board. I’m fairly new to Ironman, so I feel I can improve quite a bit.”
“I want to keep building throughout the season”
Having raced all three of the PTO Tour events last year, Kanute hopes to take part in the series again this season, with the races set to serve as building blocks for his Kona ambitions.
“Kona is the big build but I have lots of racing planned before. I want to keep building throughout the season.
“The PTO series is looking like the best option for me where I will get to race the best and continue to push the limit, but also have enough time to recover and prepare for Kona.”
On his current form, Kanute reports that he is in a good place, with his fitness in a good place compared to the same time of year in seasons gone by.
“I’ve been building steadily and look to start the season strong. There is still a lot of fitness to find, but I am in a better spot right now at this point in the year than I have been for more than a few years.”