An inspiring athlete….
We first met Jen through the triathlon scene in SA, shes one of SA’s top triathletes!
She’s just come back from competing at the IronMan in Cairns, with an impressive 3rd place in her age group. Check out Jens inspiring story.
“Everyday achievements are what I am sometimes most proud of – doing that workout when I really don’t want to, or getting up when the alarm says so when I really really don’t want to!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 40… and it pains me to say that number because my brain is quite convinced I’m still only 27. I live in Adelaide and work in public healthcare. I love Adelaide in summer – best place to be, but winter is a bit bleak! My passion in life is sport – it’s always been one sport or another since i was able to drive myself around to training sessions. These days I love triathlon for the challenge, the variety, and because I love to see what I am capable of – or learn from it if I’m not.
What makes you feel alive / What fills your soul?
I think a good cup of tea solves most probpems and it’s one of the small things i really appreciate in life. What motivates me is the drive to see what I can do, sometimes despite myself! I love triathlon, I love seeing people embrace their health and fitness.
Whats your favorite cycling style?
Definitely road cycling because I’m too scared of getting hurt with MTB style things. But having said that, i don’t like bunch riding because I don’t trust traffic or other cyclists enough so I do most of my riding solo or with my significant other (insert dreamy eyes and loving sigh – he’s the best!). In winter, I’ll begrudgingly sit on the turbo trainer in the garage.
Do you currently play other sports?
I used to play netball at a reasonable level but nowadays I’m too afraid I’ll blow out a knee or an ankle because I’m not very good at taking it easy and playing ‘socially’. So currently triathlon is the sport of choice for me. I can’t run a lot owing to a chronic issue with my pelvis but I do love to swim and ride.
What are your biggest sporting achievements to date?
Winning my AG at IM Australia in 2016 to qualify for Kona was pretty amazing. Kona itself was fabulous – I did everything, went to all the expos and events and just soaked it all up. Probably didn’t have my best race there by a long shot but had a ball anyway. At this stage of my life, having only taken up triathlon with a short stint at it for fun in my 20s and then coming back to it and deciding to train with a coach in my late 30s, it’s not one single thing I can say is a biggest achievement, it’s pushing myself to compete at the level I do at my age and without a real background in any of the 3 disciplines. Everyday achievements are what I am sometimes most proud of – doing that workout when I really don’t want to, or getting up when the alarm says so when I really really don’t want to!
What has been your most memorable race to date?
Most memorable is Port Macquarie 2015 – and not for happy reasons. It was my first, and remains my only DNF. It was the race where my sacroiliac joint finally gave way completely running down the only hill there (ruptured a ligament), so the leg I landed on after that step subluxed my kneecap and I ended up on the ground in not a good way. Three weeks later I had knee surgery and not long after that 2 procedures on my pelvis, with one more yet to come I think. It’s been a long journey but I learnt so much about myself, my perseverance, my determination to get back up and moving again, and ultimately to come back the next year and win the AG for that race. It still hurts to think about that DNF though.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with your sporting life and how did you overcome it?
(It would have to be coming back after the injury mentioned above). I’m still getting my pelvis sorted and it’s by no means happy or stable so my challenge is being able to run, somedays i can, some days I can’t – that makes training for triathlon a little skewed away from the run and if you see my race results, you’ll see that the run is always an” achilles heel” for me.
What type of bike do you ride?
I ride a Cervelo… a few actually. I have one that I was long term loaned from a friend many years ago that I love (although it’s more than a decade old) and now I have loaned that out to another friend who needed a roadie. I have an S2 but awaiting the imminent arrival of an S3 as an upgrade and a very lucky raffle win. My time trial bike is a Cervelo too – it’s a fast ride and I find that as a shortie, Cervelo P3 is adjustable enough and fits me in their smallest frame size that has 700c wheels (that’s a 48cm frameset).
Do you like to match your kit to your bike? What’s your fav?
HAHA…. loaded question. It just so happens that my P3 was made in black, white, and teal. I’ve added a few select decals and now have a Port Adelaide Power (Australian Rules Football Team) bike! so naturally some of my favourite kit is a Port Power jersey. But otherwise no, I’m not always about matchy matchy – some days, it’s whatever is clean!
Favourite soulful destination to race?
I would love to race Challenge Roth – just for the amazing atmosphere. I would also love to do some cycling around Europe but not racing, just for the scenery and a holiday
What are you currently training for?
Currently training for Ironman Cairns in June. It’s at the pointy end so I’m tired and cranky.
Whats your favorite meal to fuel your training?
I love a really nice beef schnitzel with mushroom sauce, some sauerkraut and a baked potato.
What your favorite indulgence food? Everything in moderation right!
Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot have icecream in the house = it’s my weakness and I can’t do moderation with really good icecream (palm oil free variety of course)!
Do you have a favorite café/restaurant ?
Cheap and cheerful is my thing. I love the local surf clubs to eat at and support the clubs, but I am also a huge fan of our local Indian and Thai take-aways. Can’t really go past a good Phud Thai dish!
Favourite holiday destination?
I think the next dream destiniation is skiing in Japan. But then again, swimming in the Maldives looks good.
What advice would you give someone to live a soul full life?
Ah the old cliches come up “Work to live, don’t live to work. Look after your health and “move it or lose it”.
Do you have any sponsors you would like us to mention?
I’m an ambassador (as opposed to personally sponsored) for Altra shoes. I run in Altra shoes and love them – i found them at a race years ago and have recently been an ambassador for them for the past 2 years. They’re foot shaped, and have zero drop (heel to toe) so encourage a natural running form that allows your foot room to spread and not squish your toes. Very happy to be representing Altra and I’d still wear these shoes even if I wasn’t an ambassador. There’s not a huge market for sponsorship of middle aged age group long distance triathletes – but if anyone out there wants to sponsor me, get in touch!!