Canada has a rich history of success at the sport of Ironman Triathlon, particularly by our female Ironman athletes. Going back to the Puntous twins from Quebec who posted Ironman wins at the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii during the early eighties to Alberta native Heather Fuhr with fourteen Ironman victories and Lori Bowden of Victoria with two Ironman World Championships in 1999 and 2003 it is an illustrious group. Lisa Bentley has shown that she belongs in that elite company. A native Ontarian, Bentley first competed in triathlon at the Olympic distance and contributed to the Canadian Team winning a gold medal at the Pan-Am Games in 1995. Making a move to the Ironman discipline proved to be an astute career decision as she 2nd fastest Ironman debut ever at Ironman Canada in 1997. Winning her first Ironman in 2000, Bentley posted her eighth and ninth Ironman Championship in 2005 with wins in Ironman Australia and Ironman Germany making her one of the dominant athletes in Ironman competition during this season. Now 35, it was her hope to follow this outstanding season with a best ever performance in Hawaii at the Ironman World Championships in October but bad luck intervened with Bentley being taken off the course during the race with a ruptured appendix.
In addition to her accomplishments as an athlete, Bentley brings a genuine concern and caring for others to her activities. For some years, Bentley remained quiet about the fact that she was affected by Cystic Fibrosis, wanted to establish herself as an athlete first and foremost. Recently she has come to believe that she can provide some positive messaging and inspiration for others dealing with Cystic Fibrosis and assist in raising important research dollars for the cause. “I realized that I had a gift,” said Bentley. “I had this tremendous opportunity as a professional athlete to motivate children and adults with CF to dream and believe that they could be healthy.” In a similar fashion, Bentley has hosted training clinics to raise funds for cancer charities and also local sport clubs in her hometown of Caledon, Ontario. Now recovered from her appendix operation, Bentley is training and planning for the upcoming Ironman season with typical determination and optimism.