Newport’s Lints blazes new trail in triathlon

After swimming a quarter mile, biking for 14 miles and finishing up with a 5-kilometer run, Blaine Lints had only one feeling - regret.

After swimming a quarter mile, biking for 14 miles and finishing up with a 5-kilometer run, Blaine Lints had only one feeling - regret.

Despite winning his first-ever triathlon, Lints felt as if he could have given it more.

“I didn’t feel as if I completely exhausted myself,” Lints said from his Bellevue home, a week after the event. “I don’t think I pushed myself hard enough on the run.”

Lints, a 15-year-old Newport sophomore, won the 19-and-Under division of the Five Mile Lake Sprint Triathlon in Federal Way on June 14, finishing the event in only 1:10.33.

It was Lints’ first attempt at a triathlon, part of his training towards competing in a half-Ironman competition in July, and hopefully, he said, a start towards competing in full Iron

Lints, an avid biker, competed in the event with his friend and fellow Newport Knight Nathan Burwell, who finished second in the age division in 1:10.34. The pair did the entire event side by side, starting with the initial quarter-mile swim.

“It was really intense after the swim, because you are in the transition area trying to get your wet suit off, and it’s hard to get it off because you’re soaking wet and your heart is beating so fast,” Lints said. “Nathan is a better swimmer than me, so he helped me get mine off.”

But the bike ride proved to be even more difficult, Lints said, because of the coldness of the water from the swim.

“You’re all wet, and cold and your feet are numb,” he said. “I actually couldn’t feel my feet at all.”

Lints, a strong biker, averaged 22 miles-per-hour on the bike alongside Burwell.

“It was pretty hilly and I was expecting it to be a lot flatter,” Lints said. “It was pretty hard and you had to conserve your energy a bit for the run.”

After the duo dumped the bikes in the transition area, they began the 5K run, not exactly easy, Lints said, after the biking stage.

“You definitely feel that you just biked,” Lints laughed. “You can feel that your legs are sore. It’s definitely a weird feeling for the first mile.”

Lints finished 33rd out of 230 finishers; Burwell placed 34th.

Lints, who will join the Newport cross country team in the fall, said his focus now switches to training for the half-Ironman competition that he will compete in on July 6 at Lake Stevens.

“It’s a really big time commitment,” Lints said. “If you want to be really good you have to train 40 hours a week. This was basically just a warmup for my Ironman.”

Lints said he bikes 150 miles a week, runs 30 miles a week and goes to swim practice four times a week to prepare for the half Ironman. If he does well, he says, he wants to continue on to the full Ironman competition at some point, with a goal to be the best he can.

“I think I can win my age group,” he said. “Next year I want to do the full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene. If I do, I’ll be the youngest person to ever do that.”

Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at jwillits@reporternewspapers.com.