Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Oceanside & New Sponsor – Descente!

Heyo, Crazy Ass Fans! The racing season is kicking off official-like on Saturday and I’ve got some awesome stuff to fill you in on. Let’s get it cracking!

New Top Sponsor – Descente!

So I’m racing Oceanside in a few days and since the craziest-ass of you will notice a new logo and brand on my kit and I don’t have any appearances on Jimmy Kimmel this week, I’m going to “announce” right here on this blog that you’re reading right now that I am super-duper stoked to have signed a three year partnership with Japanese sports apparel and footwear brand, Descente!

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I am so excited and honored to be the primary global male triathlete for this brand as they enter the European and US market over the next two years. In addition to global marketing campaigns, I will play a strong role in helping develop their triathlon, run, and cycling lines for the US and Europe. It’s an incredible opportunity that I honestly never would have dreamed of when haphazardly starting this sport six years ago. I feel very lucky to be in this position. Thank you all for helping me make it possible by following this journey and giving big companies like Descente a reason to invest in me.

Just before Ironman Wales, I was contacted by an Oregon MBA classmate of mine originally from Korea who had recently become Descente’s Global Marketing Director in Seoul. Descente was looking for a few triathletes to sponsor, and by pure coincidence my name had been one of the few suggested to him by an external sports marketing agency. While I was flattered, I was admittedly hesitant at first given the strength of my relationship with Pearl Izumi. But after months of vetting their team, plan, and product, I became convinced that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up for the next phase of my career.

Johnny, Catherine, and I kicked off the partnership this January at Smith Rock outside of Bend. Very excited to work with these guys for the next three years!

Johnny, Catherine, and I kicked off the partnership this January at Smith Rock outside of Bend. Very excited to work with these guys for the next three years!

My partnership is a little “early” in that Descente has little to no cycling or running apparel available in the US and Europe yet – they just launched their first line and flagship store in the London, here is their Facebook and Instagram page. Some of you may be familiar with Descente’s technical ski and winter apparel, which is widely available in the US and Europe. Part of my role is to help them develop triathlon, running, and cycling products in the next couple of years. We have already started working on custom race kit designs, some of which I hope to debut later this year. I’ve been remarkably impressed by the quality and design of both the custom and inline products I’ve received from Korea and Japan, and it’s been fun to work with an international team. Their staff is super capable and has shown a ton of enthusiasm to work with me. I can’t wait to continue to develop and release products together.

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Doing some product testing in Bend this winter – love what I’ve seen so far.

And finally, it goes without saying that I am incredibly thankful for the four years I had with Pearl Izumi. They were and are one of the best companies I’ve ever worked with, and I will miss the top notch people and products there. I want to sincerely thank my friends there Geoff, Don, Kody, and the rest of the staff, for their incredible support, the time and energy they put into me, and the many awesome things we did together – my favorite of course being the happy ass donkey video. You were my first major sponsor, and it honestly was a dream come true, thanks guys for everything.

Saturday – Oceanside 70.3

So it’s honestly kind of crazy to think that I’m racing Oceanside on Saturday. I’ve been remarkably busy with non-training stuff – broken toe, new sponsors, creating the plan and setting the groundwork for this year, hiring staff, and some other REALLY exciting Picky Bars stuff that I’ll announce next week.

I have to admit that racing hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind as much as it has previously this time of year, but in a lot of ways I think that’s a good thing. Last year I raced this race in a similar mindset and shape – feeling “behind” compared to previous years. I didn’t knock it out of the park, but I had a solid race, and I ultimately set myself up for what I think was my best ever late season racing, which I hope to replicate this year.

The field, as always, is STACKED. I’m number 6 but there’s easily 10-12 guys that could finish in front of me even on a solid day. The sport is just getting better and better to be honest. I feel like my swimming and my biking are in a good spot, my run admittedly weak after 3 months off post traumatic grocery unloading accident. So I’m not really sure what to expect or hope for.

With everything that’s been going on the last few months and the big/focus goals later on in the year, I’ll be happy with a hard effort and no injuries, so I can use this race as a kickoff to my next big training block and more important races down the road. But as always, I’ll race my ass off on the day and we’ll just have to see what happens!

You can check out coverage @ironmanlive, @fleshmanflyer (who will be on site), and ironman.com on race day. Race start is 6:40am PST, Saturday!

Babbitville Radio Interview!

Finally, I had a great interview with Bob Babbit a couple of days ago about my plans for the year, Oceanside, Wales, Wildflower, and some of the stuff going down with Picky Bars. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions. Love chatting with Bob!

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Thanks to everyone for following along and making this dream a reality, kind of crazy to be honest. See you on the other side!

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