Andy Lee quietly had one of the most impressive weekends in endurance sports last week at Snowbasin Resort in Utah. He has one XTERRA championship medal and another second-place medal to show for it.
Lee, who is a firefighter near Austin, Texas, won the men's 40-44 age division at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship on September 23, and he did it in impressive fashion. He placed 16th overall and finished more than five minutes ahead of the other runners in his age group.
But that's not the most impressive part.
Lee's trail run victory came less than 24 hours after he finished eighth overall among amateur competitors at the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon. He placed second in the men's 40-44 age division of the triathlon, just 28 seconds behind the winner.
"I decided a couple of months ago that I would do both races," he said. "I love spending time in the mountains, and it worked with my work schedule to stay for another day so I thought I would give it a try."
Lee finished the triathlon with a time of 2:52:21, including a run time of 44:16 (second best among all amateurs). Chris Scott from Illinois finished first in the men's 40-44 division, and he happens to be the 2012 ENVE Performer of the Year - an award that goes to the top amateur on the XTERRA USA circuit.
"I know Chris has been winning everything, so I am okay with second and will try to be faster next year," Lee said.
Lee added that he trained specifically for the triathlon, and the trail run the next day was his first running race in a decade.
"After the tri, I was pretty tired physically," he said. "Mentally, I was fine … the way Saturday went had no effect on whether or not I would race on Sunday, and there was never any thought of not starting on Sunday."
He finished the 21K trail run in 1:33:55 to win a title he never expected - XTERRA Trail Run National Champion. "I have been running well in triathlons, but had not done a running race in at least 10 years, so I had no idea what to expect as far as results," he said.
Despite his success in the trail run, Lee said he will stick to triathlons. He will travel to Maui later this month to compete in the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon. Although he qualified for a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in December, he said he will have to skip that race due to work and family obligations.
"My wife would love it if we could take two trips to Hawaii, but it is just not doable," he said. "If they were both on the same weekend like Nationals, I would definitely do them both."