Year In Review: 2012

WOW, what a year it has been!!  If I could have imagined how this year was going to turn out at the end of last year I wouldn’t have believed it.  This year I have trained harder than I ever have, been able to balance my family life and schedule, gotten my wife and daughters more involved in the sport of triathlon and, finally, reach a level of competition that I once believed was not possible for me again.

A Change in Training & Adding a Coach

In 2011 I started to see progress with my triathlon training. With one overall win and two second place overall finishes I felt the need to find out how much more I could improve.  The training and competing took a toll on my family life, though, because I constantly felt like I needed to do more to improve and try to catch my competitors. I had to find a better way.  Through some research I was able to find Jason Digman of Dig-It Triathlon and Multisport Coaching.



The balance that Jason has been able to help me bring to my competitive and family life is amazing.  At the same time he has pushed me to train harder than I ever have.  In 2012 I put in 469,030 yards swimming, 2,832 miles biking, and 1,420 miles running (which is hard to believe even for me and I did it!).  On top of that, I had no injuries that forced me to cut-back or skip any of my training sessions.  But the most valuable part of a structured training schedule is that I was able to plan my workouts around the activities and schedules of the rest on my family rather than the other way around.

It’s A Family Affair

One of my most memorable moments of 2012 will always be seeing my 10 year old daughter and wife compete in the Buffalo Triathlon.  Since I did my first triathlon (the 2009 Buffalo Tri) my daughter, who was 7 at the time, had begged my wife and I to let her compete in it.  Much to her disappointment the rules stated that you have to be 10 to compete at the Buffalo Tri, not to mention that my wife and I felt she was too young to complete such a race.

Along the way she has done a few kids’ triathlons, but being a competitive swimmer she was always disappointed with the swim and the overall atmosphere of the events.  This year, however, she got to step up to the big leagues, but I was nervous about a 10 year old girl getting thrown to the wolves in Minnesota’s second largest Triathlon.

My daughter and I were able to convince my wife to compete and be her “Chaperone” in the race.  Both of them did awesome and it was so inspirational to see them out on the course during the race.  Since then both of them have competed in a couple more races and it couldn’t make me prouder. My youngest daughter also competes in kids’ triathlons and has also started to ask about longer distance races.  I wonder how Jason would handle a whole tri-training family . . . A family that TRIs together, sticks together.

My Triathlon Success

As for me the results from the year are more than I could ask for.  I was able to end 2012 with 4 overall wins bringing my win total up to 5 in my career.  Capping that off was the win at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, IA which qualified me for the Hy-Vee 5150 Championships this year.  It was the largest race I’ve been in and my first time traveling to a triathlon.  It was an incredible experience and one that I won’t forget anytime soon.

If that wasn’t enough, in the post season I was honored to be nominated by the MMA (Minnesota Multisport Awards) Committee for “Male Triathlete of the Year” and “Male Most Improved”.  I ended up winning “Male Most Improved” and being ranked #7 on Team Minnesota.

2012 team mn triathlon team

It’s quite an honor to be recognized in this way by your peers for the hard work and dedication you’ve put into the sport.  Minnesota has such an incredibly rich group of talented male & female multisport athletes it’s overwhelming to be considered one of them. I want to thank each of them for constantly pushing me to become a better athlete.

Looking Ahead

So, what’s 2013 have in store?  From a race perspective some curve balls have been thrown my way recently, so my early season races are still a bit up in the air but I still plan to compete in the USAT Olympic National Championships in Milwaukee, WI in August and the Hy-Vee 5150 Championships in Des Moines, IA in September.

As far as training goes, other than a short offseason, I have kept a pretty structured training schedule.  Currently, I’m in a focused block of training for swimming.  We’ll see how things begin to shake out as we move toward the opening of the race season.




George Fantauzza

January 16 2013 Reply

You are absolutely talented, dedicated and inspire many people, including your family! Thank you for sharing your knowledge of swimming with me. I really appreciate learning from you and wish you a super successful 2013. George

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