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Posted: October 2, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Triathlon: World's Youngest Ironman Sets New Record In Unfavorable Conditions

Raises funds for Pathfinders for Autism

CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- (September 29, 2009) -- Hunter Lussi, the youngest Iron Distance Finisher in the triathlon world, competed in his third ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance triathlon on September 26, 2009. Last year, as a 14-year old, Lussi won the 2.4 mile swim portion of the event and lowered his overall finish time by almost two hours.

This year he set a new record in the swim portion finishing at 48:46, coming in four minutes ahead of the next competitor, while performing in heavy winds and waves.

"I am extremely happy with my results from the ChesapeakeMan Triathlon," said Lussi. "Given better weather condition who knows how well I may have done. Right now I'm looking forward to continuing to improve for my next event".

"Not only did Hunter perform extremely well at this year's event, but he did it while on a mission for the youth of America," said Robert Vigorito, Event Director and President of Columbia Triathlon Association. "His inspiring performance can only help to motivate the youth and the adults of today to get more physically fit and to make healthier choices," adds Vigorito.

Overall, Lussi finished in a time of 11:47:56. In addition to his swim time of 48:46 he finished the bike portion in 6:21:35 and marathon in 4:45.

Lussi, who believes strongly in parents and kids exercising together, formed a unique "parental alliance" to insure he would be pushed to a top performance in the 2.4 mile swim portion of the Ironman Distance triathlon this past weekend. Polly Winde Surhoff, the mother of several current and former North Baltimore Aquatic Center swim teammates of Hunters', and former Pan American Games and World Championships silver medalist and Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame member who was just back from a great performance at the Big Shoulders 3 mile open water swim race in Chicago, agreed to swim the 2.4 mile portion of the triathlon against Lussi after he proposed that the $200 prize money that either of them may win for the swim portion of the triathlon would be donated to Pathfinders for Autism.

Ms. Surhoff helped establish Pathfinders for Autism in 2000 and for more information on the organization please go to (

When triathlon officials heard of this "teen vs. parent challenge" to benefit such a tremendous organization, they agreed to increase the prize money to be donated by the winner to $700. Lussi improved his winning swim time over last year by almost seven minutes and earned the $700 prize money for Pathfinders.

"You have to give your best because Pathfinders gives their best and Ms. Surhoff is so cool to come out here, give me great pre-race advice about the windy conditions and take the time to push me," said Lussi. "Besides, if she had beaten me, which was a real possibility because she crushed my winning time last year, my teammates would have never let me hear the end of it."

This past June Lussi won his division at the EagleMan Ironman 70.3, and also had a 2nd place finish at the 2009 Columbia Triathlon. Lussi has won his division in the EagleMan Ironman 70.3 for the past four years.

America's Fitness TRI
A few years ago, Hunter Lussi took a look at America's and his own physical conditioning and came to a couple of conclusions. He needed to get himself in better shape and he wanted the entire country to get in better shape too. While Hunter has certainly changed himself from a self-professed couch potato into a triathlete, his second goal remains a quest. He would like to see everyone from the President of the United States to an average citizen take part in "America's Fitness Tri" being held across America on Labor Day 2010. For this event, and on every Labor Day thereafter, Americans would participate in a 500 yard swim, 10 mile bike ride, and a 2.5 mile run/walk. Not your typical goal for a 15-year old, but a goal nonetheless. You can register for America's Tri for Fitness and follow Hunter at

About the ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon
140.6 Miles of Maryland Eastern Shore hospitality as featured in James Michener's book "Chesapeake". Start your day with a 2.4 Mile Swim in the protected Hambrooks Bay section of the Choptank River in Great Marsh Park. Then follow with a two loop cycling experience through the flat and windy Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The run is a three loop fast and flat course with a finish under the lights on the track of the Vikings Stadium at Dorchester High School. Join us for the Champions Brunch & Awards at the Hyatt Regency on Sunday morning. Prize Purse and Primes are awarded. To learn more about the ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon, visit the web site at

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