Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Hi, I’m in China.

Nǐ hǎo fēngkuáng de pìgu fěnsī!

So in case you haven’t heard/read/seen, I’m in China. No this isn’t the next step in Picky Bars international expansion (maybe it should be?). I’m racing. Here are the deets.

Just some 2am #lobbystrides. #nbd #IM703Liuzhou

A post shared by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on

Race Details:

Why China? – Kona Points, Descente Visit, & Something Different!

As stated in an interview with myself, my goal this year is to take another crack at Kona. In order to do that, I need to get enough points from two 70.3s, and up to 3 (but ideally only two, include Kona last year) Ironmans. As it stands right now, I basically need to win IM Lanzarote to ensure I qualify without having to do another Ironman. Second place would be close and 3rd would be nope. So that’s putting a lot of pressure on Lanzarote to make it.

I’ve got two 5th place finishes in 750 point 70.3 races (Chile and Santa Cruz), so to improve my chances, I need to finish above 5th at a 750 point race. Given that Oceanside (750 point race) is usually a near World Champs field, the chances of scoring higher seemed a bit better heading to Liuzhou (also a 750 point race). However, the field here is strong – not as deep as Oceanside, but some great guys up in the top 3-5 places, a few I’ve never beaten before, so I’ll still have my work cut out for me to try and max those points.

The other reason I decided to come here was the opportunity to visit Descente in Beijing! I’ll be at their store on Monday, April 3. I’ll provide more details on social as I get them. If any of you for some reason happen to be in Beijing on Monday, you should most definitely come by! I hear it’s a small relatively small place so should be easy to stop by. Once you arrive, I’ll be the semi tall white guy in Descente clothing who looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I’m actually pretty psyched to go race in China. As much as I love Oceanside, I’ve raced it 5 of 6 years as a pro, and I’m digging doing something different this year. This will be my first race in China and only my second race in Asia (following my crazy/epic race in the Phillipines in 2011). From the pictures and description, the location and course look awesome. Maybe I’ll feel differently Saturday afternoon, but right now I’m stoked to check it out and visit another part of the triathlon world!

How I feel / What I expect:

I expect to feel fairly heavy/fatigued from the Ironman training, which is in full swing, and a little bit stale from the long winter. I’ve still only ridden outside in Bend four times since Octoburrrrrrrr. Absolutely nuts. I had some great training outside when available – during the purplepatch camp in Kona and a short visit to LA for the Expo West Food show and an Red Bull/LA Tri Club chat. Other than that, it’s been a lot of trainer time, treadmill time, and a few cold and rainy runs. I’m hoping the body comes around a bit and excited to see where my fitness lies, but I don’t expect too much. It’ll be nice to dust off the cobwebs and jumpstart some solid Ironman training when I get back home – full steam ahead to Lanzarote on May 20th!

Up and up and up today, 7k feet of climbing in 80 miles. After 3 months on the trainer, this ride felt nuts. It's crazy…

Posted by Jesse Thomas on Sunday, March 12, 2017


A couple more updates while I have your attention:

Scholarship Winners Chosen – Announcement coming soon. I’ve chosen some great candidates for my 1st Year Pro scholarship and will be announcing those once the papers are signed and done with USAT Foundation, who’s helping me coordinate the grants. It was a much harder process than I anticipated due to the overwhelming number of quality applicants I received. There are many more who deserve support as well, but I’m very excited about the candidates I chose and I believe they all have tremendous potential professionally, personally, and athletically!

Picky Bars is rocking it – I’m going to try to put together an update for those of you who follow my other job, but I’m proud to say that Picky Bars met the vast majority of our Q1 goals. This is probably, actually definitely, the only time this has ever happened. Look for some cool things to come of that hard work in Q2.

Finally, I leave you all with a video that writing this post reminded me of, “Hi, I’m in Delaware.” Enjoy!

4 comments to Hi, I’m in China.

  • Robin

    Best of luck Jesse! I’m hoping for tons of pics, because I want to go there next year.

  • Beth

    Good luck, Jesse! Just do what you do and don’t let all that points pressure mess with your head — just race.

  • Ken


    I did not know you had another talent!
    Flawless Chinese pinyin pronunciation.

    Here is a CAF from Hong Kong.If I had known earlier you’d be coming over I would have considered to come, possibly even race.

    as I am reading this only Friday morning local time. it’s a bit hard to swing by.

    Best of luck to you.

    in chinese – Jia You!


    p.s. hope you crack that Kona code!

  • sandra sharma

    Congrats Jesse on your second place at Liuzhou 70.3.
    Having the fastest run must be a stupendous bonus.Enjoy Beijing and recall your trip with U.of O.when you rode a bicycle considerably slower than today

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