Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

2015 70.3 Worlds Preview

The hills are alive with dozens of crazy ass fans!

“Hallo” from Zell am See, Austria! As most of you know from twitter, facebook, and instagram, I’ve been here for a little over a week, settling in, checking out the course, and taking in the scenery.

The 70.3 World Championships, the peak of my season, is on Sunday. In short – I’m feeling good, ready to roll, and can’t wait to race.

Here are the quick details:

What: 70.3 World Championship

Where: Zell Am See, Austria.

When: Sunday, 10:45am local time – 1:45am PST, 4:45am EST. Likely finish ~5:40am PST.

How to follow / watch:

The Field:

There are a number of previews from triathlon media – Slowtwitch, Triathlete Magazine, First off the Bike. Short story is that basically everybody is back from last year’s super stacked field – AND even a few other top guys who weren’t there last year. It’s maybe the best field ever in any 70.3, and definitely the best field I’ve ever raced against. Most of the media has me placing anywhere from top 15 to cracking top 10 or so. And I’d say that’s pretty fair.

My Hopes/Dreams/Expectations:

Unlike a lot of races, and my normal hemming and hawing, I’ve got a pretty clear goal – to finish in the top 10. A top 10 would be an improvement on my best finish ever – 12th last year – in a more competitive field. Plus I’d make some prize money and get to go to the awards. Bam! All of that would be awesome.

But like any tough goal, there’s a good chance I won’t achieve it. So I still hesitate writing it down, making it public. I could have a really good day and still get beaten by 10 or more guys – the field is that strong. But in the end, we don’t go out and train our asses off every day to achieve goals that are easy. So there it is.

But if top 10 doesn’t happen for any number of reasons, I will be happy if I race my ass off to the finish line, and get the most out of myself. I guess, that’s all you can ever really ask for.

Excited To See What I’ve Got:

Regardless of goals, I am legitimately excited to see what I can get out of myself on Sunday. I believe I’m in the best overall shape of my career. And if coach Matt and I hit the taper right, I should be ready to roll better than I ever have. The course suits my strengths:

  • Likely, a wetsuit swim
  • Bike – massive climb about 13 miles in it that should help spread out the groups up in front of me, and hopefully allow me and other non front pack swimmers at least begin to bridge the gap.
  • Flat and fast run with lots of turnaround points and places where you can see at least a minute or more in front of you. Hopefully PacMan some guys up.

I Need to Stay Tough – Shocker:

I think the keys for me to a solid performance will be to:

  • Stay tough mentally and physically in the second half the swim when it inevitably feels like I’m going backwards.
  • Stay tough on the second half of the bike even if the front packs feels out of reach
  • Stay in it to the end of the run as World Championship races tend to have people blow up in the last half after they’ve either gone too hard or realize their initial goal is out of reach.

So basically, a lot of staying tough when the poo hits the fan. If you guys are thinking/watching my race, feel free to send Juju along those lines my way – poo hitting fan staying tough juju. Luckily my mom, dad, stepmom Janna, brother Darren and his girlfriend Courtney are here so I’ll have some love out on the course as well.

So those are the things I’ll be thinking about on Sunday, race wise. But I’ll also be thinking a lot about my family, Lauren and Jude in particular who I miss a whole bunch, and will definitely be a primary source of energy/motivation/inspiration when I’m hurting. I’ll even be able to see Jude’s handprints on my new Dimond….

Super stoked to ride a brand new custom Dimond Bikes this Sunday at #IM703WC. This one is called “JD” – Jude’s Dimond,…

Posted by Jesse Thomas Triathlete on Monday, August 24, 2015

Some Reflection and Thanks:

Being away from Lauren, Jude and Picky Bars has given my mind some time to reflect this week. And when I take a step back, it’s kind of freaking crazy that I’m racing in Europe at a World Championships as a professional triathlete with a legit shot at a top 10. I wouldn’t have expected or dreamed this 5 years. I mean this sincerely, thanks to you all for enabling it all. It’s unreal. Huge huge props to my sponsors Pearl Izumi, ROKA, Jaybird, Red Bull, Picky Bars, Dimond, Accenture, DigiPower Refuel, Rolf Prima, and Powertap. You guys are not only great companies but great people to work with. Some of the best in the biz, and I really appreciate.

And of course, as always, the thing that keeps me going through the ups and downs of it all is thinking about the story I’ll tell to the DOZENS of crazy ass fans that read this blog. It’s been an awesome ride and I really appreciate you guys following along and participating in the way you do. Here’s to the next step on Sunday! Thanks again, and see you on the other side!





Here’s a bonus few pics from the week:

The HILLS are alive…with the sound of disc wheels. #zellkaprun #im703wc #lifepoints

A photo posted by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on

Just cruisin by a castle. #nbd #lifepoints @pickybars #im703wc #zellkaprun

A photo posted by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on


A photo posted by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on


26 comments to 2015 70.3 Worlds Preview

  • Kimberly

    I can’t get over how big Jude is! Best of luck on Sunday. I am confident that you’ll pour everything into the race, as that is how you seem to conduct yourself. No extra distance on the bike this time though, ‘kay?

  • Pulling for you big time, Jesse! Huge fan – and it’s been so RAD to see your progression in this awesome support, and your gritty, smart return from recovery to now being in the best shape of your career. Will be rooting for you from Bend – bring it home and enjoy the day!

    • Jesse Thomas

      Thanks Mike! Really appreciate it, man. Has been awesome to be back in Bend the last couple years and feel the local love like no other! Already excited to get back.

  • Alfredo

    Rooting for your Jesse! Awesome blog as always, and look forward to your post race recap… from the podium…. 🙂

    Go get em!

  • You got this, Jesse. You’re ready, you’ve done the training, you’re prepared. Go out there and show them what’s up.

  • Allen Goodling

    Good luck. Stay the course and push hard. Will be rooting for you.

  • Kevin Jeffery

    I sat next to Darren and Courtney on the flight from Maui to SF. He managed to call you the “freak of the family”, too fat to race Kona, and say that you are going to crush in Austria on Sunday. But mostly he was geeking out about Jude’s handprints on your bike.

    Good luck out there and I think a lot of guys are going to pop trying to hang w/ Javi and Frodo.

  • Ben-jammin

    Hi Jesse! Good luck out there man. I am sending you massive amounts of poo hitting fan staying tough juju. I think that Kevin’s comment is on point – no one can hang with Frodo because he will probably just get Gandalf to summon Gwahir the Windlord and fly to the finish.

  • Jeffrey Kozimor

    I’m crazy excited for you to be there at the top of your game, healthy, prepared and ready to go – does it get any better than that? No doubt that you’ll have a full tank of mental toughness when the poo hits the fan. Live the dream and be the dream for what ever it is meant to be. We’ll all be rooting for you!

  • Jason

    Love all this. I was lucky to meet you at 70.3 WC last year in the finish area. I had just PRed on nothing but Picky Bars by 30mins. I remember you being so stoked about your race! I don’t think mental toughness is an issue…you’re the dude who dominated Wild Flower coming off a broken foot with almost no run training. That’s champion level stuff. Best of luck this weekend!

  • Craig

    Great preview JT – your honesty in your columns (and humour!) is what has me coming back.
    Good luck Sunday – smash it – and hopefully we’ll see you in the flesh, this time next year at the Sunshine Coast!

  • Kick ass! I’ll be rooting for you! 🙂

  • JB


    You’re living the dream all of us rank amateurs (and many less talented pros) aspire to, but you do it with humility and grace which is why you have such a strong following of fans, myself included. You’re going to do great and you deserve all the accolades that will follow. You are an excellent ambassador for the sport and we are all lucky to have you be so willing to let us in a little bit to see just what it takes and how much fun you can still have doing it.

    Keep being great,

  • Eric Eberman

    Love reading your updates. You are as down to earth as an age group athlete with the talent that can compete with anyone out there. I wish you the best of luck on Sunday and I am sure the handprints will keep you cranking hard! Go get’em JT!!!

  • Jomo Frodo

    Hey Jesse, here’s hoping you have the race of your career (thus far) out there Sunday! Major juju coming your way. Go get it.


  • James G. Johnson

    Congratulations, Jesse on your finish — too bad, though, on the 5-minute penalty that almost certainly cost you a top 10 finish. Still, #18 in the world isn’t bad, and you were the top US finisher in the race. Quite an achievement.

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