Defending Champ Returns to Her "Happy Place" at IRONMAN New Zealand

Wednesday 04 March 2020

American IRONMAN athlete Jocelyn McCauley is returning to her happy place as she prepares to defend her title at Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupõ on Saturday, in a country that holds a very special place in her heart.
 
McCauley was an impressive winner in race record time in 2019, setting a new mark of 8:53:10 on the back of a 2:58:06 course record for the marathon as she held off Teresa Adam (New Zealand) and five time winner Meredith Kessler (USA), both of whom are returning in 2020.
 
While McCauley clearly loves the course and success here, it is her love for the town and New Zealand in a broader sense that sees her return year after year to start her season.
 
“While I do enjoy this course, my love is more centered on the country, the town, and the people. I visited New Zealand when I was 12 and fell in love with it. Every time I come back to this amazing country I feel at home. Everyone involved in this race, from the Race Director and management team to the volunteers, is exceptional. That is the secret behind what makes this race amazing.”
 
McCauley takes a very pragmatic approach to her racing, coming into 2020 without any undue pressure on herself to repeat last year’s result.
 
“The approach to 2020 is like any other year. When I race, I always race to win, so there isn’t any more pressure this year than in years past. I only can go out there and give what my body has. That’s how I always race.”
 
The main competition to McCauley is both daunting and familiar, with the podium returning from 2019. Teresa Adam (New Zealand) has finished runner-up twice (2018 and 2019) and has mixed up her training in preparation for Taupõ , winning the Time Trial title at the recent New Zealand Road Cycling Championships in Cambridge.
 
And it is the roads that are top of mind for Adam as the Asia-Pacific IRONMAN champion contemplates another tilt at a first New Zealand title.
 
“The course in Taupõ is always a huge challenge. The roads on the bike are the classic New Zealand surface, good ol' heavy rough chip, so you always start to feel it coming into T2! The run is also quite tricky, as the rolling terrain out the back half of the lap starts to bite in the last part of the marathon. However, this challenging terrain, along with the incredible crowd support, is what makes me love racing in Taupõ!
“Obviously being a proud Kiwi, I would really love to win my ‘home’ race in Taupõ. However, at the end of the day, all I try to focus on is my own race plan and performance, and whatever happens, happens!”  

Also, on the start line is five-time New Zealand champion Meredith Kessler (USA), her third-place finish last year all the more remarkable with 15 month old son Mak watching on from the sidelines. Like McCauley, Kessler considers Taupõ her spiritual home.
 
“It is so special and enriching every time we come to New Zealand yet last year was especially gratifying to share it all with Mak and my husband, Aaron. Two years prior, Mak was a budding baby boy in my body at IRONMAN New Zealand in March, unbeknownst to us! So, in some respects, this makes New Zealand more meaningful to us and a kindred spirit for Mak!
 
“We value and appreciate being able to show him our haven of Taupõ. It’s been a whirlwind tour these past nine years coming to IRONMAN New Zealand and ones we hold very dear to our hearts. Even though we only spend two to three out of 52 weeks in a year in Taupõ, when we come back, we love catching up with old Kiwi friends that have become like family and being embraced by the town as we walk through the streets. As we have always said, it is truly like our second home.”
 
Kessler says she is stronger and has banked more endurance training into her legs another year on from Mak’s arrival.
 
“Last year, in particular, it was clear that I had 'newer mom' 70.3 legs, and it showed in my results. I did not have the resilience I needed to be able to conquer the distance at that time and three quarters through the bike and run, my body was wishing the race was indeed a 70.3!
 
“Coming into 2020, the objective has been to gear training towards IRONMAN numbers and be able to sustain this throughout the entire race, not just for half of it! The focus also has been on efficiency rather than an abundance of volume. As you get older too, it is imperative to train smarter, not necessarily longer.
 
“Over the many years in this sport, and IRONMAN New Zealand being my near 70th IRONMAN distance, these ol' legs have banked thousands of miles, and the muscle memory is there. The goal has also been to get my bike and run to its happy place, so fine-tuning has been the forefront of the preparation.”
 
The returning 2019 podium will not have it all their own way on Saturday however, with plenty of other candidates lurking in one of the deepest women’s fields seen for some years in Taupõ. Amongst those athletes the one to watch might well be Radka Khalefeldt as the Czech athlete debuts over the full IRONMAN distance.
 
The 70.3 expert and mother of toddler Ruby may be an unknown quantity at the full IRONMAN race but has knowledge of the course following her dominant victory at Taupõ 70.3 in late 2018. The form of the Australian based athlete (married to former Australian ITU star Brad Kahlefeldt) has been superb, with seven wins and 11 podiums from 13 starts in 2019.
 
Lisa Roberts (USA) is a six-time champion around the globe and one of the top-five women with the most sub three-hour race-day marathons, meaning she will always be lurking in the minds of the other athletes on Saturday.
 
One of the more fascinating characters lining up on Saturday is Rachel (Rach) McBride. The colourful Canadian (literally adorned with significant body art) is a renowned cyclist in the sport, holding numerous bike course records at 70.3 and IRONMAN race distance around the world.

2020 Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand Pro Women Start List

21 Jocelyn McCauley (UNITED STATES)
22 Teresa Adam (NEW ZEALAND)
23 Meredith Kessler (UNITED STATES)
24 Lisa Roberts (UNITED STATES)
25 Rachel McBride (CANADA)
26 Radka Kahlefeldt (CZECH REPUBLIC)
27 Kelsey Withrow (UNITED STATES)
29 Judith Corachan Vaquera (SPAIN)
30 Melanie Burke (NEW ZEALAND)
31 Julia Grant (NEW ZEALAND)
32 Federica De Nicola (ITALY)
33 Laura Dennis (AUSTRALIA)
34 Alyssa Godesky (UNITED STATES)
35 Jennifer Lentzke (CANADA)

IRONMAN Triathlon


Coming Triathlon Events View all

    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

10

Apr

2020

KiwiMan

New Plymouth, New Zealand

Website Google Map

11

Apr

2020

HITS Napa Valley

Napa Valley, CA, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

19

Apr

2020

Strongman

Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan

Website Google Map

17

May

2020

Enduroman

Christchurch, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

22

May

2020

Italy Ultra Race

Fano, Italy

Website Google Map

23

May

2020

FrenchMan

Hourtin, France

Website Google Map YouTube

23

May

2020

Pirene Xtreme

Cellers, Lleida, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

06

Jun

2020

AlpsMan

Annecy, France

Website Google Map YouTube

06

Jun

2020

the X

Windermere, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

06

Jun

2020

Wasserstadt Triathlon

Hannover-Limmer, Germany

Website Google Map
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

25

Apr

2020

Ironman Texas

The Woodlands, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

31

May

2020

Ironman Tulsa

Tulsa, OK, United States

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Ironman Subic Bay

Subic Bay, Philippines

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Ironman Cairns

Cairns, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

14

Jun

2020

Ironman France

Nice, France

Website Google Map YouTube

21

Jun

2020

Ironman Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

21

Jun

2020

Ironman Ireland

Cork, Ireland

Website Google Map YouTube

28

Jun

2020

Ironman Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

05

Jul

2020

Ironman Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Website Google Map YouTube

12

Jul

2020

Ironman UK

Bolton,, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

18

Apr

2020

Chattahoochee Challenge Half

Pine Mountain, GA, United States

Website Google Map

19

Apr

2020

Setubal Triathlon

Setubal, Portugal

Website Google Map

25

Apr

2020

Chia Sardinia Tri

Sardinia, Italy

Website Google Map

25

Apr

2020

White Lake Spring Half

White Lake, NC, United States

Website Google Map

26

Apr

2020

InfiniTri

Peniscola, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

26

Apr

2020

Cannes International

Cannes, France

Website Google Map

03

May

2020

Ultra Tri Series

Sun City, South Africa

Website Google Map

03

May

2020

Monticelloman

Lake Monticello, VA, United States

Website Google Map

09

May

2020

Crystal Coast Half Booty

Beaufort, NC, United States

Website Google Map

10

May

2020

Azores Triathlon

Azores, Portugal

Website Google Map
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

03

May

2020

70.3 Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico

Website Google Map YouTube

09

May

2020

70.3 Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, California, United States

Website Google Map

09

May

2020

70.3 Gulf Coast

Panama City Beach, Florida, United States

Website Google Map

10

May

2020

70.3 Vietnam

Da Nang, Viet Nam

Website Google Map YouTube

10

May

2020

70.3 Davao

Davao, Philippines

Website Google Map YouTube

24

May

2020

70.3 Graz

Graz, Austria

Website Google Map

31

May

2020

70.3 Connecticut

Middlebury, Connecticut, United States

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

70.3 Virginia Blue Ridge

Roanoke, United States

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

70.3 Kraichgau

Kraichgau, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

07

Jun

2020

70.3 Staffordshire

Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

Challenge Roth 2020 Cancelled

Challenge Roth 2020 Cancelled

Friday 27 Mar 2020 [Triathlon News]

Dear friends of DATEV Challenge Roth, It is with a heavy heart we have made the decision to cancel DATEV Challenge Roth on 5 July 2020 due to the current global health crisis with the SARS-CoV-2-Virus. After consulting with the authorities, it is the only responsible choice to make. more

Advance to Acquire the IRONMAN Group from Wanda Sports

Advance to Acquire the IRONMAN Group from Wanda Sports

Thursday 26 Mar 2020 [Triathlon News]

Advance announced today that it has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (NASDAQ: WSG) to acquire The IRONMAN Group in an all-cash transaction. The IRONMAN Group and its portfolio of assets, which includes its flagship IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series®, and the Epic Series® of mountain biking races, among other events, makes up the largest mass participation sports platform in the world. From a single more

Commonwealth Blitz at Mooloolaba Season Opener

Commonwealth Blitz at Mooloolaba Season Opener

Sunday 15 Mar 2020 [Triathlon News]

Athletes from Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia cleaned up the all the ‘hardware’ and kept their Olympic dreams alive, dominating the iconic Sunshine Coast season opener, ITU World Cup Mooloolaba. Former ITU World Champion Vicky Holland (GBR) was in control all race but finally turned up the heat on the run to shut down team mate Georgia Taylor-Brown and Australian Olympian Ashleigh Gentle, in an impressive display she hopes will help secure her a spot at the Tokyo 2020. more

70.3 Campeche set for Sunday with Sunset Finish line

70.3 Campeche set for Sunday with Sunset Finish line

Friday 13 Mar 2020 [Triathlon News]

With its unique afternoon start, this race features a dusk finish line, right when the town—one of Mexico's best-kept secrets—really comes to life. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Campeche's colonial city center, pastel houses, and warm hospitality will lure athletes back again and again. The 1.2 mile (1.9km) single-loop swim takes place in the protected water of the Gulf of Mexico. more

Mooloolaba to raise the flag and open the ITU World Triathlon season

Mooloolaba to raise the flag and open the ITU World Triathlon season

Friday 13 Mar 2020 [Triathlon News]

Following the postponement of WTS Abu Dhabi and with Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification points on the line, the season will get underway in Mooloolaba, Australia, in the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup on Saturday 14 March. Located on the famous Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba will play host to an elite field of men and women, stacked with Olympians, Commonwealth Games representatives, experienced and emerging athletes on the circuit more

Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.