Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Xtri posts a nice interview today ...On the Podium with Jacqui Gordon

Nice article posted on this am...

by Mary Eggers

Photo Credit: Eric Wynn

Professional triathlete Jacqui Gordon is in an interesting spot as she heads into this week's Ironman Lake Placid. She's just outside the top thirty in the Kona Pro rankings (currently around #40) with an Ironman on tap and some outstanding performances under her belt. At age 38 and recently under the guidance of Jesse Kropelnicki of Qt2 Systems, it seems like 2011 is the year it's all coming together for this wife and mother of two.

Gordon is no stranger to the professional scene, having turned professional in 2005, hitting multiple top five 70.3 and Ironman performances. Athletics however have always been part of her life. "In 1999 I wanted to do something epic for my birthday. So I talked my husband into driving to a local ski resort to race in a ski/mountain bike/trail run event. It was my first multi sport event. I led the whole way and won! The next week I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant with my son Tanner. So things were put on hold for a few years!"

So far this season Gordon has PR'd by 33 minutes over the 140.6 distance with her 8th place finish at Ironman Texas with a 9:27.20, among many other accomplishments. While one coult rattle off stats and PR's all day long, what is most captivating about Gordon is the passion she possesses for multisport.

What would you say is your "driving force?"

I have always had the desire to be the best triathlete I felt I could be. From my very first race I knew I had potential and I still feel like I have untapped potential..That's what keeps me coming back for more. As long as I am getting faster and feel like I can balance training/racing with my family life I will keep competing professionally and working hard to fulfill the goals I set for myself each year

Who has been your biggest source of inspiration as you have evolved through the sport?

Natasha Badmann was always my biggest inspiration. She always remained so composed and professional and raced with such passion. Now I get great inspiration from all the pro girls that I race against. Women's triathlon is just at a new level right now. The great results being produced at every race is inspiring! I look around at race start and see a lot of good friends who all share similar goals and passion for the sport like I do.

You have been competing professionally through the changes to the qualification process for Kona. What are your thoughts on the new qualification process?

It will be a very interesting year. Already the changes are apparent with the early season races being packed with girls all trying to nail down big points. The pressure is on at every single race to perform instead of focusing on one big Ironman race. Everyone wants to be at the big show in Kona this year! I personally wish that WTC would have kept things more even and given the girls the same amount of qualifying slots as the men. There are enough talented girls that all deserve to have a fair chance to race in Hawaii!

You changed coaches this season, a hard subject for many athletes to talk about. Is that akward for you to talk about?

Not awkward at all. I am so grateful to have had 4 good years with a great coach. Coach Paulo Sousa from PS Triathlon got me to many top 5 IM and 70.3 finishes. It is always a tough decision to switch coaches but I decided that I needed a change …a new approach. I am so thankful to him for his never ending support he gave me. He taught me about myself,triathlon and mental toughness. Constantly challenging me and keeping me coming back for more and more. He transitioned me from top age grouper to racing and competing well as a professional and I really enjoyed his constant drive for me to be better.

You have rearranged your race schedule a bit to include some of the Rev 3 events as you are part of Team Trakkers. As you have so much experience in the M dot world, how do you compare the Rev 3 series?

I am all about Rev 3 and what they are doing in triathlon. I think we all need to support them as they are offering a great race series that is focused around families and triathlon. Not only are their races first class, the race venues are well chosen to keep friends and family happy too which is so important. You want your family to come and see you race and have their own good memories about their trips. My kids have really enjoyed the amusement park venues and their race in Costa Rica was amazing. I am so happy to be a part of the Rev 3 family.

You race a lot, what's your secret to staying fresh for each event? Do you ever train through races?

I have had years where I have raced 3 or 4 Ironman in a year and other years where I only race 2 Ironman. Bottom line is that I love to race, so I like to take advantage of when I am feeling fit and healthy and race as much as I can. I have had races in the past that I definitely have trained through. I pick my top 2 races for the season and then I arrange my schedule around those.

What is your big focus for 2011?

I will continue my support for the Rev 3 race series. My race schedule has included Rev 3 Costa Rica, Texas 70.3, St Croix 70.3 and then IM Texas, Quassy and then IMLP. That's a full schedule right there!

I shall be working with Coach Jesse on fixing my weaknesses and really trying to improve on my Ironman run.

You have two children and it seems like the majority of your triathlon career has been after their birth. What's your secret to balancing being a mother and a professional athlete? What do you hope to teach them as you compete?

My children have only ever known me as mom and athlete. My life is very busy, just the way I like it! I am very lucky as I have a supportive husband who works from home so together we manage to keep everything going. I want my children to excel as athletes and we keep them very involved in all sports. I always remind them that if you want to be good at something….not only good but the best you can be…you need to put the work in. I have taught them to face your fears. To dream about your goals and to love what you do or find something else to pursue

We will be cheering you on at Ironman Lake Placid!

No comments: