When Brian Weintraub decided to enter triathlons, he already knew about the injuries and mishaps that accompany the grueling three-part endurance tests.
He trained hard to avoid the hypothermia that can set in while swimming in freezing oceans; the cuts, scratches and broken bones that result from bicycle crashes; the shin splints, muscle spasms and cramps suffered when running.
He wasn't prepared, however, for the airplanes in Balboa Park--one that buzzed past his ear while on a training run in Encino.
"I was out there moving at a good pace," Weintraub said. "All of a sudden, this remote-control airplane divebombed me."
Weintraub ducked and ran. It wasn't the first time he had to show his speed.
Last weekend, he was flying high himself after winning the Ventura Triathlon. Weintraub completed a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 30K bike ride and a 10K run in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 5 seconds.
Weintraub, 28, of Sherman Oaks, is gearing up for the World Triathlon Championships on Oct. 13 in Nice, France.
He became a triathlete two years ago after deciding it would be better to push his body 25 hours a week rather than push a pencil for 40 to 60.
"I saw life passing me by at the age of 26," said Weintraub, who worked as an accountant for a major firm before starting his own accounting business. "I lost touch with what was important to me in the pursuit of material goods."
Now, Weintraub is chasing Scott Molina, Scott Tinley, Dave Scott and the other top competitors who are in the upper echelon of the triathlon world.
"The way to get there is to keep working hard," he said. "Or change my name to Scott."