Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

My 15 Minutes of Fame & Wildflower Preview

Yo yo yo!

I’m checking back in with my screaming-like-your-hair’s-on-fire-fans to let you know what I’ve been up to since I became an internationally recognized super star cover boy.

A couple of things I did this month:

1) Slow jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon.

Obama heard I slow jammed, that’s why he slow jammed. 

2) Co Hosted Saturday Night Live with Lauren. We did a remake of “D*&k in a Box.

Halloween 2007. One of the many reasons Lauren now refuses to do couples costumes with me.


I know what it sounds like – as soon as I reach the pinnacle of super-stardom, I sell-out, and replace tweeting with my DOZENS of crazy fans for clubbing in Vegas with Leo, Lebron, and Kimye.

Well, believe it or not, I wasn’t actually doing all of that stuff. Here’s what I’ve really been up to:

1) Aviator Fever Sweeps the Nation!!!!

Seriously, the best part of the cover has been your response. I’ve gotten tweets, messages, emails, texts, pictures, almost every single day. This type of stuff pumps me up like Dee Brown shoes in 1991. I absolutely love it. A sincere thank you to everyone who sent me something. Some of my favorites are posted below.

We gave a pair of Aviators to the monthly Picky Bars Club members. This was my favorite photo from them.

What's hilarious about this pic is how cooly he's putting on his Aviators. He's a natural.

You know you've reached the apex of international fame and glory when you're in CANADA. Booyah!

The level of respect I expect from my little brother Darren. But, I think I won in the comments.

And I’ve got to give a huge shout out to @timbellig for putting together this video. HILARIOUS.

This one is worth viewing full screen. My favorite part, of course, is the “crop dusting.”

2) Training my tail off. 

To ensure the triathlete mag cover didn’t go to my head, Matt punished me the past couple of weeks. I can confidently say it’s some of the best training I’ve ever done. For all you guys that ask me about workouts, below are a couple of example from my Powertap & Garmin data. Hopefully now I can rest up in time for a good one this weekend.
A long bike ride on the Shiv:

A long run in the Transitions:

Wildflower Schedule

Which of course, brings me to the main event! Needless to say, I’m super stoked for this weekend. Before I get into my thoughts, there are some fun activities I should mention right off the bat:

  1. Available Now – Endurance Hour Podcast – Dave Erickson and I talked for about 20 minutes yesterday about lots of stuff, including returning to Wildflower, broken necks, the cover, my marriage, and of course Matt Lieto (unrelated to my marriage). My interview starts at ~32 minutes into the show.
  2. Wednesday 6:30pm PST: Purplepatch Webinar/Chat/Hangout – Matt and I will be BS-ing about all kinds of stuff, including Wildflower race tactics and probably my fashion sense. He’s leading it, so be prepared (for good and bad). You can click the link to view it from any home internet machine (computer).
  3. Friday 1:30pm: Triathlete Magazine Signing at the Triathlete Magazine Booth – If you’re at the race on Friday, swing by and say what’s up. PLEASE COME, otherwise I’m fairly sure it’ll just be me sitting at a booth twiddling my thumbs for most of the time.
  4. Friday 3:30pm: Champions of Wildflower Panel at the Stage – According to the athlete guide, it’s me, Leanda Cave, Chris Legh, Sam McGlone, Chris McCormack. Someone sticks out there like a sore thumb, and it may be me.
  5. Saturday 8:00am: RACE!!!! – I’m not sure what, if any, live coverage will be available. So if you want to follow for race updates, check my twitter account @jessemthomas. I’ll have someone at the race site updating it with whatever information they can get!

Wildflower Preview & Thoughts

In the podcast, Dave asks me the question I’ve been getting a lot lately, to paraphrase, “Do you feel more pressure heading into Wildflower given that there’s a target on your back now being the defending champ, etc.”

For sure, there is a much bigger spotlight (no spotlight last year), and externally – amongst the media, crowd, competitors, etc – more expectation for me to race well. But internally, my expectations have not changed. Yes, I WANT to win. I always want to win, that’s why I’m a competitor. And, I think I’m capable of it on the right day. But I know that the right day comes and goes with little regard for when you want it to show up. The field this year will be very strong including Paul Matthews, Jordan Rapp, Chris Legh, Matt Lieto, Jeff Symmonds, and Trevor Wurtele. At least a few of those guys historically have the upper hand on me. And, who knows if there will be another random #87 that comes out of nowhere! You never know who’s going to have the right day.

With the training, preparation, and support I have this season, I am confident that if I feel good, I’ll be faster than I was last year. But that may not be fast enough to win. I am hoping to race faster than I did last year. But ultimately, I want to enjoy the race with the same amount of unbridled, almost naive enthusiasm. I remember chatting with Matt, running through the campground smiling, saying thanks to people when they yelled, “Nice Aviators!” I’m excited to do all that again, regardless of what position I’m in at the time. So anyway, that’s basically how I feel, and that’s the attitude I’ll carry into this weekend. I’m going to race my ass off and try to finish as high as I possibly can, but I’m also going to soak it up and enjoy the experience, regardless of the outcome.

I’ll do my best to be this guy, crazy psyched kid that has no idea what’s going on, he’s just having a blast. Booyah!

12 comments to My 15 Minutes of Fame & Wildflower Preview

  • OMG, yes, am I first?!? I was really worried that my noon conference as going to interfere with my commenting first and I am now delaying ordering my Just Salad salad to be first commentor. JT super fan here.

    Good Luck, J-bo! I’ll be rooting for you from NYC. I hope you were super inspired by my stellar performance this past weekend and an age group 5K win has you pumped up (I have got to stop with this age group thing).

    Anyways, you’re pretty awesome, good luck, have fun, and eat some Picky Bars.

    PS – I’m going to tweet a pic one day of me in aviators eating a PB and J on a rice cake and I’m hoping that will be enough for a retweet.

  • Randy Becker

    Outstanding update, as always! The bar continues to rise.

    See you this weekend & LMK if you need some assist on Saturday.

    Have a safe trip south!

  • Rick

    Good luck Jess. Epic interview last year, keep the joy and hammer away.

  • Gani

    Have a great race this weekend! The Verdict crew (from Kona) will be there (sans Larry Rosa), so I’ll make sure Scuba Steve stays out of your way in the transitions.

  • Elizabeth

    Good luck!

  • T-Bone

    I like that 4:57 at Mile 13 of your run.

    See you down there this weekend. Super stoked to get to be there live this year! I’m predicting a 2:18 bike split for you if it isn’t crazy windy.

  • Brett

    Dude, are you entering as “Mystery Guy #87” again? Some dudes on ST posted the pro start list and. . .no JT?

  • sandra sharma

    Hi Jesse,
    Congratulations on a fantastic race, very fast winning time and a repeat performance as number 1.Jesse, you are in the big league now and a genuine contender for the World’s 70.3.
    We couldn’t be happier for you ,Lauren and ,Carol. You are a genuine star, humble,funny, but a true competitor who everytime gives of his best.Those are important ingredients of a champion.Well done!!!!

  • Great race report and race! But oh man, GENESIS?? And Invisible Touch (or as I like to call it: “Invisible Touch-eh!” I can’t even. I think I will still cheer for you.

  • WOW this recap rocked. Congrats, Jesse!! Big fan.

  • Huge Congrats… Can’t even fathom that pressure…Must be an amazing feeling to conquer that! Ride the wave!

  • gearheadrunner

    Great read!! Great job Jesse!!

    These types for stories always give me inspiration.

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