Aug. 21st, 2012

MORTARONS EXPOSED: Ben Klau, General Manager + Closet Superhero.

Once upon a time, Ben Klau’s idea of a home-cooked meal was a sleeve of Ritz crackers paired with a can of Coke. Rumor has it that until 2004, he believed the phrase “think outside the box” meant finding someplace to eat other than Jack in the Box. As Ben puts it, any place where he could shout into a clown’s head and receive food in return was fair game.

But one day, something switched. Ben traded in his two-pack of Twinkies for a pair of ASICS Gel-Kayanos, and got to training. After completing 2 marathons in 2004 and an Olympic-distance triathlon in 2005, Ben swore he was done with outlandish endurance events. But the lure of competition was too strong. Before he knew it, he was back in the game.

While most games revolve around fun, Ben’s involves waking up at 4:30 most days to run, bike, or swim before even starting work. This has been his life for the past 9 months as he trains for Ironman Canada. He’s managed to fit in 15-25 hours of training a week, often working out twice a day. How he found the time to craft complex proposals and wrangle client demands is beyond us.

And now, the question we’re all asking ourselves: Why does he do it? How does he do it? For Ben, it’s primarily a matter of “told ya so.”

“I love setting challenges, and doing things people said I couldn’t do,” states the great Klaumeister. “Running triathlons has taught my body to do things my mind never thought it could.”

Aside from the thrill of self-competition, Ben says his need to constantly train allows him to see incredible things he never would otherwise – like biking toward a perfectly timed sunrise in Santa Fe, or running through a vineyard in France accompanied by a little French farmdog for 3 miles.

This Sunday, Ben will see plenty as he and 2,800 others travel to Penticton, British Columbia to take on what’s easily one of the world’s toughest races. The Ironman course begins with a refreshing 2.4 mile swim, continues with a measly 112 mile bike ride, and rounds off with a casual 26.2 mile run.

Amazingly, Ironman won’t be the last we see of SuperBen. The man has a personal goal of running a marathon in all 50 states – and he’s knocked off 15 so far. We’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines, Benjamin. Most likely while wolfing down a Big Mac and fries.


Ben pauses atop Lake Tahoe’s Donner Pass during a training ride. Is it just us, or was this man built for breathable neon spandex?


  • Judith Klau
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    I take full credit for helping him to follow in the paths of his ancestors who trained by running from large dogs. I am so proud of him I could pop.

  • jessica robertson
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    Consider this kid inspired. To the gym I go!

  • David & Bobby Klau
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    And we knew him when he OD’ed on junk food! Way to go, Ben – we’re ALL proud of you!

  • Rachel Sandage
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    Proud, but missing our days on the couch. Remember the time I came to visit and we only ate, slept, and watched TV? Have a yard of fizzy to celebrate when you’re done.

  • Lori Bush Shepard
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    Wow, all this time i was unaware of your superhero status! Does that mean I have to curtsey next time I see you?

  • Barry sack
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    I’m exhausted just reading about your exploits. good luck in canada.

  • Judy Gundersen
    Aug. 21st, 2012

    GO, BEN! It’s been an amazing transition from coca-cola to Gatorade, from couch to bike. Helped by a great self-determination and a cheering partner supplying fluids and ice! Best of luck, Ben
    Bob and Judy Gundersen

  • Glenda Bellarosa
    Aug. 22nd, 2012

    Go Ben Go!!! I remember your first season with TNT that helped train you for your first marathon. You have accomplished so much! So inspiring!!! Good Luck in Canada!!! I will be tracking you! Cheers to you!!!

  • dominique levenberg
    Aug. 31st, 2012

    Congratulations!!! I am currently training for a sprint distance triathlon and I love reading about other people’s triumphs. Penticton is a beautiful location to have found your success!

  • Aug. 31st, 2012

    Superheroes are supercool!

  • Curved Slightly
    Sep. 6th, 2012

    I’ve always preferred the term Mortards. 🙂

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