Triathlete Ben Collins attributes his swimming prowess to having learned to swim quickly in order to catch salmon by hand as a child growing up in Seattle, Washington. While the race between boy and salmon certainly sounds thrilling, Collins would find more suitable swimming competitors as a captain of the swim team at Columbia University.
After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Collins moved to Honolulu where he worked designing autonomous underwater vehicles. While attempting to build a fleet of underwater robots designed to take over the world, he says he discovered that fun could be had not just in the ocean but on land as well, so he took up triathlons. That year, he won the 2006 Honolulu Triathlon and came second overall in the USA Age Group National Championships. A year later, he Collins won the 2007 U.S. and World Amateur World Championships. He then competed for the U.S. National Team in draft-legal triathlon from 2008 to 2012, but eventually decided to start focusing on Olympic Distance Non-Drafting races, where his stellar cycling talent is less useful to his competitors.
From 2010 through 2012 Ben was part of the USA Triathlon National Team, living at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. In 2011, he won the Nautica New York City Triathlon. In 2012, Collins made a last-minute decision to travel to South America and compete in the Lima ITU Triathlon Premium Pan American Cup in February. His spontaneity paid off, and Collins won the race by nearly a minute over his next closest competitor. At the 2012 Nautica South Beach Triathlon in Miami in April, Collins finished second but was the fastest cyclist. Later that month, he again finished second and fastest rider at the 2012 St Anthony's Triathlon in St Petersburg, Florida. He was also second in the 2012 Nautica New York City Triathlon in July.
In 2013 Ben came first and set course records at Nautica South Beach Triathlon and Giant Eagle 5150 Triathlon, in Columbus Ohio. He also had a first at the Frankenmuth Triathlon in Michigan, and second in the Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon and Rev 3 Wisconsin.
The 2014 season has seen an impressive string of victories: Mont Tremblant 5150, World Triathlon Chicago (para), the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, and the New York City Triathlon.
Ben competes in Para Tri Events as a guide for visually-impaired athlete Aaron Scheidies.