We were at Runner’s Roost in Denver for a wide-ranging Q&A presented by Tri Rock Colorado and Audi Boulder with two-time Ironman World Champion and course record holder Mirinda Carfrae along with her husband and Ironman Brazil course record holder, Timothy O’Donnell. The conversation was a total blast.
Jesse Thomas broke a bone in his foot a year ago as he came down the last downhill on his way to winning his third consecutive Wildflower Triathlon. He was excited to win, but he was bummed knowing that he would be laid up for a while. ‘A while’ turned into a full year, and, with his nearly one-year old son, Jude, and his wife, Lauren, there with him, Thomas returned to Wildflower to become the first triathlete to win four Wildflower titles in a row. Jesse came on to chat about the emotions he dealt with over this past year and how he thought numerous times that his career just might be over.
In this wide-ranging interview with Andrew Messick, on the three year anniversary of becoming the CEO of Ironman, we covered everything from his time with the NBA and AEG, Lance Armstrong, the globalization of the Ironman brand, and what he feels is his greatest accomplishment so far.
John Maclean was training to do a triathlon 26 years ago when he was hit by a truck while cycling and paralyzed from the waist down. John became, on his third attempt, the first handcycle athlete to finish the Ironman Triathlon World championship under all of the cut off times in 1997. He moved on from the Ironman and swam the English Channel, sailed in the infamous Sydney to Hobart race and competed in the Paralympics in rowing. Due to a new therapy technique, John is now able to walk the beach with his wife and son -check out 60 Minutes Australia for the unbelievable story- and his plan now is to race that same triathlon he was training for when he was paralyzed 26 years ago.
Katie Hursey was in San Diego traveling with her sponsor, Coeur Sports, and her boyfriend and fellow pro triathlete Tommy Zaferes. Neither got into the sport of triathlon until the end of their college careers, but both are now serious contenders to make the U.S. Olympic Triathlon team in 2016.
Five-time Ironman champion Heather Wurtele has started off 2014 with two big wins. We chatted with the Canadian about living in and traveling to races in a motor home with her husband and fellow-pro triathlete, Trevor, her goals for 2014, and how squirrels actually disabled their vehicle!
Aussie Joe Gambles took fourth at the Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside to kick off his season and is hoping to be racing in both Roth and Kona this year. We chatted about his third place finish at Ironman Lake Tahoe. With the morning temperature hovering under 30 degrees, Joe put on his wetsuit in the condo before heading to the start!