Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

70.3 World Championships – Quick Thoughts


I wanted to get my quick reactions to my performance at the 70.3 World Championships out while I’ve had a bit of time to simmer down and reflect, but it’s still fresh in my head.  Don’t worry, I will post a FULL race report with Jesseism’s, 80’s songs, and a recap of the Las Vegas shenanigans with ManVan bro Matt Lieto.  But for now, here’s what went down, what it means, and how I feel about it.

Swim:  28:28, 36th out of 40 Pros

Decent start even though I felt flat.  Was with the pack ~500 meters in, but then had some goggle fogging issues that played a big part in getting dropped.  Had to stop and take them off three times to wash them out.  Swam in no man’s land the rest of the way and lost ~3.5 minutes.  Bad news, not in a happy place.

Bike:  2:25:28, 34th fastest

Wow, I haven’t felt that bad on a bike since never.  Legs were on vacation.  Rough!  At 10 miles, I sat up, cursed at myself, and decided I wasn’t going to finish the race. But I didn’t want to attract attention by turning around and heading back “in the lead,” so thought I’d finish the out & back to see the rest of the course.  Eventually, decided to finish the bike with whatever I had, which wasn’t much.  Not a happy 2.5 hours.

Run:  1:14:24, 4th fastest

First thing I said to coach Matt was “should I stop?”  He said run one lap and we’ll see.  I started slowly picking guys off, and so many people were cheering me on like they couldn’t care less about my place that I finally decided I just needed to suck it up and finish this damn race.  Still, it wasn’t easy.  I had to stop for #2, I cramped a bit.  But, I managed to run myself up to somewhat respectable (if lower than desired) place.

Overall:  4:11:54, 17th, Full Results

The bad:

  • Hand’s down my worst swim & bike of the year.  Boo-No (opposite of Booyah).
  • Finished lower than I expected/was hoping for.
  • Experienced about 4 hours of fairly legit unhappiness.

The Good:

  • I saw the course, the race dynamics, and got some valuable experience/perspective for next year.
  • Despite feeling pretty terrible for almost the entire race, I freaking finished that mofo, and I got everything out of myself that I could have on the day.


I don’t like excuses – everyone has stuff they’re dealing with before every race – but I was pretty dang sick for the last few weeks.  Matt and I knew the stress on my body and lack of training meant that feeling good was a long shot.  But, we hoped for the best.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.  Even though I was very disappointed during and immediately after the race, I feel much better about it now for these reasons:

  • I’m proud of myself for finishing, and giving it my all despite much farther back than I hoped.  Any athlete knows that pushing though pain is MUCH harder when the feedback is all negative.  I had some ugly downer moments/minutes/hours out there, but I battled through, which is something I need to know how to do when things aren’t going my way.
  • I got the experience I wanted out of the race.  And, judging by the course, and how the race unfolded, I like my chances of doing well here the next couple of years.  The hilly bike and run play to my strengths.  With a decent swim and bike, I can finish the ride within striking distance of a solid result.
  • I finished 17th in the WORLD.  If you had told me at the beginning of this season that I’d be 17th in this race, I would have been pumped!  Obviously, the results I had this season, for better and for worse, changed my perspective/expectations.  But none the less, this was a great finish in my rookie pro season, even if it was on a sub par day.

Thank You

Finally, it was SOOO awesome to have people cheering me on during that run.  Friends, family, sponsors, fans, people that recognized Jesse/Aviator/Maverick, whatever.  So rad!  It literally changed my perspective during the race, and is the reason I finished.  It reinforced to me the amazing support I have had this year, and how little my actual result matters to 95% of those people.  I am so thankful for that support.  Thank you for reading my crazy blogs and cheering me on regardless of if I win Wildflower or put up a real stinker.  It’s such a valuable asset for me to have, and makes me so excited for the next couple of years.  Thank you so much

Next Up

No final decisions have been made, but I think my body’s been telling me for a few weeks that the season is over.  If so, I’m VERY happy with the year.  Incredible.  A fantastic first year as a pro, with lots of potential for the years to come.  Thank you all so much for following!

23 comments to 70.3 World Championships – Quick Thoughts

  • Michaeldlc

    Love your race reports! I’m a fan since you won Wildflower. I was there (raced in collegiate division)!

  • Jim Anderson

    You are an inspiring, thoughtful and good old ‘kick in the pants’ to watch. Congratulations on a HUGE season of major accomplishments. Thanks for bringing us all along on the ride. I know many of us have learned a lot about you but also about racing from your blog posts (and enjoyed many, many laughs). Great things will continue to come!

  • Tom Wildhart

    Jesse, I have been watching you this season and you are a true inspiration. Great job today way to bring it home in the run.

  • If JesseBieber can suffer through 4 hours of something, so can…Meggie-san? eh? No? (this is always my main marathon concern – the long-ness). Ok. Anyways, love reading your race recaps – they’re funny. And have enjoyed reading about the ups and downs – thanks for honesty.

    And the fact that you broke your neck, got an MBA, and then pursued pro triathlife-ing – amazing.

  • Andre James Garcia

    This is the very reason i eagerly wait for your race report. 17th isn’t bad after all. On the contrary, given those possitives you got from the race, i would rate it as Super!First Year as a pro, with that kind of achievements? Come on, YOU are absolutely inspiring. Congratulations for a year well done!

  • Brett @the_MSA

    WTF? Somehow my post ended up on your last blog post. Anywho…we’re proud!

  • James

    Nice work, Juicy. Take a break from training and eat some cat cookies. You deserve it!

  • Beth

    Thanks for this race report. I did my first 70.3 yesterday and felt awful the whole time. I too had been sick in the few weeks prior, but was keeping hopes up. It was a struggle and I was disappointed. After a little time, I was proud for not giving up. This post makes me feel better that even people as good as you still have hard days, but it is ok. I think you had a great season! Keep it up and get those Teddy Bears again next year!

  • From amateur in 2010 to 17th in the world (and on a bad day), you have a huge future ahead of you! Great job Maverick! Bad days suck, but gives you something to pull from down the road…..

  • Rob L.

    Way to gut it out Jesse! What an awesome year for you – with more great things to come, of this I am certain! So great to get to meet you at Tucson and then to follow you through this season – an inspiring journey and most enjoyable read – do hope you are compiling for a future book. Hope I get to see you at a future event or PPF camp – trying to grow my bushy hair out so I can go jessiestyle – especially after a swim. Get rested, recovered and ready for a great 2012!

  • Jeff

    Way to reach deep into an empty tank and pull out a strong finish! Great rookie season – who would have imagined??? Time to chill, reflect and re-load for next year. Good job!

  • George

    Well done Jessie! Sabrina and I enjoyed meeting you in Vegas. You still pulled off an amazing run for a very respectable 17th against the best in the world. Have a good off-season and make sure you regenerate fully ’cause 2012 is going to be even more insane!

    Your fans from Montreal!!

  • Tbone

    17th in the world is dragging your family’s average down. Seriously, though, to do this on what was clearly an off day shows just how far you’ve come. Get fat for a while now and then kick ass again.

  • MarkyV

    Let me introduce you to your new swimming best friend, Spitty. Hello Spit! He will be a good friend. He keeps goggle lenses more clear than any product out there. Have fun with spit.


    *not recommended for fogged up windshields

  • darren

    Dear Aviator,
    17th? Really? I thought you had more in you than that. Who knows? Maybe you can shoot for 2nd next time and be the very first loser of the race instead of the 16th. That would be something to blog about. Also, why do you look like a rookie cop when you race?

  • Kevin Taddonio


    Great rookie season. Any specific races on your radar for 2012? Any chance of jumping up to the Ironman distance?

    Best regards,


  • chad butler

    Jesse, you kicked my butt in your first ever cyclocross race this last weekend. Even though I should have been trying to beat you I was just thouroughly impressed with your ability and encouraged you that you were going to win this race! Now that I see what a stud you are I feel great for taking second to you. I hope you come back and school me again (but next time not at the championships).
    in awe,

  • Natalie

    Hey Jesse,

    Meeting you at Wildflower was definitely a highlight of an incredible year. Keep up the great writing and inspirational competing. Both you and Lauren are stunning examples of what we can achieve with hard work, enthusiasm, and a bold sense of humor.

    Many thanks, and best of luck in 2012!

    Natalie G.

  • that video of steve carrell is hysterical. also please post more often. thanks in advance! love, picky bar club member.

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