Joco Sports

April 1, 2014

Becoming a triathlete ... sometimes just sort of happens

Triathlons have taken Shawnee Mission West graduate around the country, and around the world.

Scott Kinner never thought about becoming a triathlete while he was growing up.

The 46-year old Shawnee resident attended Shawnee Mission West High School and never competed in any sports for the Vikings.

“I did not play organized sports because I was too involved in marching band with the Shawnee Mission West drum line,” he said.

It was about 10 years ago that Kinner just happened to become interested in triathlons.

“For exercise, I started swimming during the lunch hour at the Jewish Community Center outdoor pool,” he said. “When I first started, I could barely swim a few laps without stopping.

“Later that fall, a new Masters group was forming led by Rob Kingsbury. They used about four lanes of the pool. Rob saw me swimming by myself in one of the far lanes and shamed me into joining their workout.”

His swimming improved, and he contemplated trying a triathlon.

“Later that year, the JCC had an indoor sprint triathlon, so a few of us decided to try it,” he said. “After that, I was hooked and did about seven local races that year.”

As Kinner gained confidences in his abilities, he moved up the distance of the triathlons and finally decided to try the full Ironman distance races of

a 2.4-mile swim, 112-miles on a bicycle and 26.2-miles running.

It was 2006 when he did his first Ironman in Florida.

Since then, he has competed in the 2008 European Championships in Frankfurt, Germany, the Arizona Ironman in 2008 and Lake Placid in 2011.

He does not think of himself as a great triathlete.

“I’m not fast, just stubborn,” he said.

Kinner has some training tips.

“Make sure you have fun,” he said. “If it starts to just feel like work, take some time off.

“Triathlons, especially Ironman, requires a lot of training hours per week. Don’t sacrifice important things like family. I make a big effort to do my training before the family wakes up.

“And learn to manage your time very well. Figure out how to be productive with your time.”

In 2006 while training for an Ironman event, he met Dave Shultz of Leawood, and they began what became the Ironband.

“It was not too long after when I received an e-mail from David with a song he had written pretty much poking fun at all of us and the stupid things we all do training,” Kinner said.

Shultz wrote another song and came up with the idea of starting a triathlon band.

“He finally convinced me, and Ironband officially had two members,” Kinner said. “We wrote and recorded a number of songs and created a CD.”

The band now has three members -- Kinner, the singer and bass player; Shultz on the guitar, and adventure sports racer Justin Montgomery of Merriam on drums.

“Now race directors have us playing at their races, and we don’t have time to race anymore,” he said. “But that is a good problem.”

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