2012 Ironman World Champion

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Jaimie’s Blog – No Longer a Virgin of Full Distance Triathlon!

Jaimie’s Blog: No Longer a Virgin of Full Distance Triathlon! 

Well to say Challenge Roth was uneventful would be an absolute lie.

Apparently it was one of the toughest years in its 30 year history with the wind and the heat at its cruelest with the highest amount of athletes in the medical tent (20% of starters did not finish). Yet strangely the wind and the heat I did not notice until I heard people talking about it – I was doing my first ‘full distance triathlon’, living the dream. My dream.

You know its going to be a memorable day when it starts with Cindy Lauper blaring through the speakers “Girls just want to have fun” – this is awesome at any time and or place of the day let alone in Germany whilst treading water on the start line of Challenge Roth!

What is Challenge Roth? Picture Tour De France moments where one is enveloped in a kilometre of avid supporters 10 people deep whilst pedaling up what is called Solar Hill. Cyclists must ride single file. The ride course snakes through the German landscape of cobbled towns, sculpted horses amongst endless fields and historical landmarks complete with churches and more. All concluded by a 42.2km run beside the RothSea which intermittently winds gaily through endless lively streets where local kids eyes light up with the prospect of you simply high fiving them.

After having a swim which felt slow and uncomfortable yet smiling underwater still on a high from listening to Cindy Lauper I found myself amongst volunteers – ripping off my wetsuit like neoprene geniuses with angel qualities sent from the Challenge Family haha. After thanking them profusely before realizing I was in fact in a race I ran to get on the bike.

After hearing about how fast the bike course here in Roth is I had been over the moon as this race was going to be my longest ride yet, my first 180km. Ever.

Yet straight away the big chain ring wouldn’t work, yelling in English to anyone that would listen I asked where the bike mechanics were, yet to no avail. After stopping and trying to explain it to the bike mechanic for 5 minutes what was wrong I realized there was no hope. So back on the bike thinking like a mad woman ‘this run has got to be fast.’

If you want an image of what the bike course is like here at Challenge Roth – Think of your racing track you had as a kid with the remote control cars married with the above Roth landscape – and voila you have the 180km bike course!

I secretly had a time of 10.15 I wanted to achieve, maybe without a training program and riding 2-3 times a week this was unrealistic. Lol

Severe cramping reared its ugly head at the 20km mark. I thought of Pete and what he would do, so I initially altered my running style to stand taller with feet underneath me and chest out, failing this I then took some deep breaths, walked A LOT, and did some dynamic stretching. I also imagined a gold healing wave sweeping down my legs, and over my adductors. It relented a bit.

Luckily (note the word ‘luckily’ is lightly said) the ‘angry’ jaimie had reason to come out and play, forgetting about the cramps intermittently. Having a 6ft+ man built like the Statue of David plow full force into you (it seems he wanted a drink from the aid station on my side) on the running course will do that. I flew through the air with my right leg cramping like a bug on its back legs flailing with panic.

With no apologies the Statue of David look alike kept running, unfazed.

The volunteers picked me up, through tears I thought ‘there is no way I’m not finishing because of this, Pete’s at the finish line (I had no idea how he was or how his race was) plus I had seen pictures of the finish line – this girl was going to have finish line action if it killed her. A girl rarely gets a chance to run down a red carpet (albeit in sweaty lycra smelling like something stuck to the tractors tyres I just passed, hey I’ll take what I can get)– in Europe of all places!

Crossing the finish line was a mixture of emotions, angry that I didn’t have the race I had imagined (admittedly only imagined a time I wanted to aim for before the race when asked what splits I wanted to do, and frustrated that cramps came on so early. Blessed I crossed the line with the love of my life arms outstretched, the most supportive husband in the world, my best friend, my partner in crime.

Everyone who signs up for a full distance triathlon who commits to swimming 3.8km, riding 180km and running 42.2km all in one session has to have the support from their family. This is something I battled with, is it right for me to race the races when this is Pete’s job. Should I be there 100% of the time for him?

As I sat on the portaloo before the race start race morning I was reminded of this. I heard a man ask Pete in the portaloo line if it was hard having your wife racing too. I held my breath. Pete replied, “its easier she just does what I do.” If he was referring to eating tuna, kidney beans, rice cakes with peanut butter and banana as opposed to the European food one ought to indulge in whilst in Europes culinary fair then he was 100% correct! Grrrrr haha.

Thankyou for everyones beautiful messages of support, I will do more triathlons if it means I get to feel so warm and fuzzy when reading each and every one.

Triathlon is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle, a mechanism to keep one sane lol and Challenge uniquely makes everyone feel like family.

The plus side of walking a lot of the run is you can wear high heels to the after party and dance like nobody is watching!




Getting excited about Challenge Roth

Pete Jacobs finish

With less than three weeks before the Challenge Roth race starts, early in the morning on a calm spectator lined canal, I have suddenly become surprisingly excited. I’ve raced in Roth four times consecutively from 2007 – 2010, finishing 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, and 4th. So it’s not new to me, I know the town, the race venue, the course, the atmosphere, the vibe, the finish line, the experience, the expo, the events outside of the race, the locals, the race organizers, the carbo, the after party, I know it all! And that is why I’m excited, as those memories get closer to the surface as I get closer to getting back to Challenge Roth!

And now, as those memories start to flood in they are boosted by what I’ve heard about the additions to this year’s event. As it is a special year being the 30th year of triathlon in Roth, and the fireworks at the end of the race will be the biggest ever, as will the finish line arena and grandstand, and the spectator party points along the course, and just everything will be bigger and better than ever before, and before it was already the biggest I’ve ever seen at a triathlon!

I’m excited to catch up with Bob Babbit and “Breakfast with Bob” in Roth. One of the most knowledgeable, charismatic, interesting and funny characters in the sport of triathlon, Bob asks all the right questions and has all the back stories for the last 35 years of triathlon. For the first time there will also be an English live race channel hosted by none other than the legendary Belinda Granger, who has more experience of winning these crazy races and of talking than anyone I know, and will be incredibly entertaining and informative for those watching online.

These are just a few of the bigger details happening at Challenge Roth. A lot of this information and excitement has come from listening to a podcast by Irontalk where they interviewed Felix, the now head of the Challenge Family – although he will tell you his mum still is the boss ;)  - and listening to Felix it’s obvious his passion for the sport is bigger than ever. I’ve known Felix for several years, since my first race in Roth, and it’s always a pleasure catching up with him and talking about triathlon, travelling, life, whatever. He is a cool guy and only wants what’s best for our sport, and is getting that job done in a great way. Another reason I’m looking forward to Roth is to experience the hospitality of Felix, the rest of his crew, all the locals, and all the Germans in general. Germany is home to some of my best travelling memories and I can’t wait to experience it with Jaimie this year.

My peers, my competitors, my rivals – They are strong this year and I can’t wait to be on the start line with such a class of athlete and go head to head with them for about 8hrs of racing! Several top 10 Hawaii finishers are on the start list and it’s going to be a great race to be part of. And no less it’s great hanging out with these guys and girls pre and post race in such a great party atmosphere. Challenge Roth is one of the few races where I have no trouble staying awake until the last finishers. It is an awesome party with a great vibe.

On top of all of this, I will get to show my beautiful wife all of the things I’ve mentioned, all the things I’ve experienced before and are a part of my life, will become a part of her life as she competes in her first ever full distance triathlon. I am so happy that Challenge Roth will be her first experience of this tough distance, as there is no better race experience than in Roth. Even just the little town of Roth is such a special place it will be hard to keep Jaimie focused on the event… but with all the distractions maybe they will keep her relaxed, as it’s too hard not to enjoy the show that Challenge put on.

So the show is getting close, and I’m getting excited and happy to be heading back there this year, and I’ve already decided I’ll be back there in 2015 too! To everyone racing there, I hope the sun shines on us all day and we all have a great race. See you in Roth!

Race Plans

So I have decided my next race will be Challenge Roth. I had planned to race IM Texas as my validation for Kona, however illness in March put a big hole in my preparation and I decided racing well at Challenge Roth is my second most important goal, Kona being the first. The set back also meant I can not race at Escape from Alcatraz which I was very excited to be heading back there to relatively warm waters after experiencing it last year at a much colder time of the year.

So it was these tough decisions, a few moments of searching for what’s important, why I do this as a job, and reassessing my goals that made me realize I do this as a sport, and that is how I must approach it. This is not like other jobs, and nobody has any idea what it is actually like to experience the sport as life and as a job from this side of the fence. It is unimaginable, every day I’m discovering new aspects of this journey that can’t fully be explained it’s such a deep battle between many facets of ones personality, physical and mental bodies, outside influences, expectations, criticisms, all boiling together on the inside with no easy recipe to follow. And when things are going well it seems to all flow along, but when there’s a problem it can become a real mess and it’s easy to lose ones path.

I was physically struggling a week after winning in Huskisson Long course, and went downhill from there. I went really deep at Challenge Batemans Bay and crossed the line in a terrible state, on a day that I now know my body should not have been doing what it did. I was not healthy that day. But not in a way that most people feel unwell, but in a way that I have been struggling with for 15 years. Fatigued. When my body is not 100% I know about it because I’m unable to do the things I enjoy doing. Or even if I can do them I don’t enjoy them. I manage this fatigue issue, but it still flares up and I’m still learning about how the body works,  and mine in particular. A week later I knew I was in a really really  big hole but Oceanside 70.3 was the following weekend and I really wanted to go and see my sponsors, do some media promotion, some PR work, etc. and I did and it was a worthwhile trip.

I had to roll around the course I was so flat on the day. And I jogged with an age grouper chatting along the way. I survived with as little damage as possible, and really enjoyed the trip and think it was a beneficial trip. But now, as Kona draws closer I can’t take those trips just for the sponsorship side of triathlon. Now I have to spend every minute figuring out how to get in the best shape I can for Challenge Roth, and Kona. My main goals of the year. The two biggest long course triathlon races in the World. That is what is driving me in 2014.

So yes, I do still have to validate for Hawaii, by finishing an Ironman event. And I will do this at an undisclosed location, with no media, no pre race commitments, no support, just spending every single minute looking after myself so I can be in the best shape possible in Kona. It remains, and always will be, the race I test myself against. The one day a year where I test what advancements I’ve been able to make in this life.

This year is about me, doing what I want. It’s about rediscovering what I want to achieve in this life. Because I want to. Because this is what I want.

Happiness is the meaning of life. But like all good things it requires work.


My Batemans Bay Challenge

Jaimie’s Blog March 2014

‘Challenge’ – a call to someone to participate in a competitive situation or fight to decide who is superior in terms of ability or strength.

2. a call to prove or justify something.

My BATEMANS Challenge

 I always cringe when I read the words “race report” from a pro athlete. Why? That’s a good question – it just sounds so boring, so flat, so opposite to ‘juicy” (plain).

It’s a ‘report’ – now that says it all!

Why not title it “my sweat and tears” (corny I know) or “my emotional carnage”, or “my natural high”, or “sea of lycra” (well this could attract a TV spot at least, throw in the chamois cream aspect, & its now soft porn:).

Where is the info re what the athlete did before the race? Best food/coffee stop en route to the race perhaps? There is ALWAYS some drama in getting to the start line.

Where is the personal gritty stuff that could actually provide some relief to the rest of us.

Like the brand of chamois cream that works best?

Or the trick to taking off a wetsuit in T1 quickly (yes my T1 time was over a minute)J

What bra or race kit (one for the girls or maybe the ‘’chesty men”) is the most effective for race day?

What goes through one’s mind when you are resembling awkward seals in a white water frenzy on the start line?

What was the stand out in the event? And what could change next time to make it even better.

Well I am far from a Pro but Im gonna write it like I own it. I’ll start from the top –Pete and I had 2 weddings the Friday night in Sydney before driving the 5 hours Saturday morning to Batemans Bay for the “Half Distance” Triathlon – yes please note not ‘half ironman’ ‘Half Distance” – what has the world come tooooooooo!!!!

Before the gun went off my tyre blew in transition with 10min till race start. Lucky Andy from Hire Speed Wheels (http://www.hirespeedwheels.com.au) was there to fix it. Then realizing two holes in my wetsuit had conveniently grown. SO I was thinking at the swim start “don’t wee in your wetsuit Jaimie” and I wonder what we’ll eat after this”. The swim was smooth and easy (a must for any non confident swimmers out there), then onto the bike.

Imagine rolling hills, endless farm land, lake views amongst a sea of lycra. With a couple of 3hour rides before race day under my belt I was happy to enjoy both the scenery and the time on the bike in an area I had never been. Getting to see Pete a couple of times on the bike, both waving madly was fun too.

Onto the run. My racebelt was a goggle strap held on by safety pins for I lent my racebelt to somebody in need of it moreJ It snapped of course so I held the number in my hand for the run – resembling a courier with the sweats.

I did not stop smiling for one second the whole run. Not knowing if my foot was going to hold up I ran within myself, stoked to be just ‘running’.

*What I wore – I realized I didn’t actually have a race kit to wear the day before we were flying out. So in Sydney I brought a 2XU tri race suit and a Lulu Lemon Camo printed crop top.

  • I had no tender ‘bits’t thanks to  Aussie Butt Cream  chamois cream.
  • The Asics Gel Noosa Fast 2 Running Flats got me through the run without any drama from my foot.
  • I wore Rudy Projects Hypermask Sports Performance in the white gloss and orange lenses for the bike and the Rudy Projects Noyz (Pink Fluro / Multi Laser Blue Lens on the run (note the colour co ordination of my shoes and sunnies)J

*Travel Tip – make it a journey, not a ‘job’. We did this by stopping in Berry at ‘the Sourdough Café & Bakery”.

*Nutrition Tip – Make snacks for both transit time and your destination! I made a paleo banana bread for the flight down (which we ate before getting on it), plus a raw food slice. Jen (pete’s mum) had made brown rice, sweet potato, spinach, tuna + chopped up fruit for us to have in the car.

*The highlight of the trip was meeting Nat and his better half from the Indigenous Marathon Project, and getting to don an IMP Asics Singlet with pride.

Hope your experience what it may be brings half as much joy as what Batemans Bay did for me.

xxJaimie in Challenge Batemans Bay  Pete and Jaim Batemans Bay 2014 IMP Batemans Bay


Husky race

Huskisson Long Course Triathlon Race Report

Even with 4 hairpin turns around witches hats, and 4 times up a little rise, it’s a fast 20km run. It’s follows the coast along a concrete walking path and is beautifully scenic, with a few very small rolling bumps that give you a little boost on the downside. Now I’m not saying I broke any records and did anything unbelievable, but what I did do was run way beyond what I have done in training, all by being in the moment.

A week ago was the end of a very solid bike week that I had done by feel, as usual, and I felt good so I did a lot, with a few slow runs off the bike. The week of this race went very quick and I did more swimming than usual, one long ride with a run off the bike, and everything else was pretty short and easy. However I could probably make a case that my legs were still a bit fatigued from training.

However I went down to Huskisson to win. I wasn’t there to do a training day. I was there to start my 2014 season, my new campaign, with a new approach, with a win. I couldn’t tell you what I did in training in January as I don’t keep a diary and don’t follow a plan, but I must have been doing something because I don’t remember doing nothing, nor was I building a fence and garden as I did in December. So I felt comfortable with where I was, which was right there on the start line.

I swam, exiting the water near the front and was surprised in a good way that Tim Reed was there next to me getting his helmet on. He has improved his swim and now the race was on! I had a shocker transition losing my helmet strap inside my helmet and lost several seconds that I had to make up in the first 5km on the bike. It whittled down from 5 guys to three. Sam Appleton was riding strong taking turns on the first lap, then Reed and I attacked each other on the second lap, then we realized it was futile and we were a bit tired on the third lap.

T2 was fast, and we three left transition together, but very quickly Reed surged, and I was shocked. I normally like to ease into the run, but I had to relax and go with it. I sat behind Tim and had to block all thoughts from my mind about how I haven’t run much, Tim’s race fit, I’ll probably fatigue at this pace etc. etc. and just ran in the moment. I forgot about the hard ride we’d just done, I forgot about the training I hadn’t done, and I worked hard at relaxing every muscle in my body and blocking every thought I was having. I found my breathing was much more in control the Tim’s, and as I found my rhythm I took the lead, then Tim took it, then me again, and as we hit halfway and a little incline I took advantage of believing I had the capacity to increase my output more than Tim (since he was already breathing hard), and it worked. I extended my lead and broke that invisible rubber band that had held us together.

I would guess that we ran the first 10k in 33mins, then I ran the second 10k in 34mins. I think it was a fair 20k, just a fast 20k. Running relaxed was incredible. Relaxed but under pressure was a unique experience that I have actually been specifically training. If you accept that the mind controls every reaction in your body (which you would accept easily if you saw the information to prove it) then you start to approach things differently, and every moment of life becomes a moment to practice being in the moment. You are not defined by your past, by the training you have or haven’t done. You are what you are in this moment. Putting into place what I had trained to do (relax while running) was what helped me win. Now I’ll recover, then add some more physical load to my run training and the next race, Challenge Batemans Bay on March 16, with my mind and body abilities that little bit stronger, I could be that little bit faster ☺

A big mention how proud I was of my mum, who has worked really hard to overcome years of illness and injury that forced her to stop triathlon 10 years ago, and finished the Sprint Triathlon in great shape on the Saturday. Looking forward to many more weekends racing with mum.

Thanks to Elite Energy who run an amazing event and have built up a great tradition down there, and I’m very happy I kept my tradition of good results at this race going. I can’t wait to do it all again in Bateman’s Bay in a few weeks, and also watching mum and everyone else race the sprint, enticer, and kids triathlons on the day before I race. I had a blast handing out hundreds of kids medals and I enjoy getting a photo with them after they finish, even if they don’t all know who I am, their mum and dad might tell them one day ;)