Interview: Rachel Joyce wants to be the next top brit in Kona



by Wagner Araujo

AsiaTRI: Rachel, in Roth once more you almost beat Rinny. What do you need to improve to beat her in those big races?

Rachel Joyce: First off: thanks for getting in touch to interview me post Roth. I’m just back in Boulder after a mid-season break in Southern Germany with family: now I’m recharged and ready to get started on my Kona build.

Going into Challenge Roth I was racing for the win. I knew that would be tough given the field that Challenge Roth had put together. Whilst I didn’t win I feel like I performed well and I also some lessons and information away from the race. I always analyse every race to see what I need to work on and that’s what I have done since Roth with my coach Dave Scott. Knowing there are definite areas for improvement is a real motivator for me and I’m ready to get back into training and work on them. If I felt like I had had the absolute day of my life and couldn’t see where to improve I would probably be feeling despondent right now as I begin my build for Kona but, thankfully(!), that isn’t the case.

Joyce in Roth 2014. @Wagner Araujo
Joyce in Roth 2014. @Wagner Araujo

AsiaTRI: In the finish line and during the post race interview you look pretty happy. Why?

Rachel Joyce:I challenge anyone to not feel happy and on a high after the final few kilometres of Challenge Roth! The reception I got as I entered the finishing stadium was pretty incredible (and I think every finisher receives the same!). Yes, I’m massively competitive. Yes, I do love that feeling of being the first over the finish line – it’s hard to beat. However, the results I post are just one aspect of my overall passion for triathlon. It sounds cheesy but whilst it is me out there racing on race day, I couldn’t do this without all the people who support me day to day – on the good days and the bad days. Those people make it more fun and rewarding and when you pull off a good race (even if it is not the special win!) of course I feel happy: for me and for all those people supporting me:. that’s what you see at the finishline and in the post race interviews.

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Challenge Roth was extra special as a big contingent of the Joyce family were out to watch me: my parents, my sister who lives in Australia and my younger brother and wife with my nephew. They were stood at about the 40km mark and went completely berserk when they saw me so that kept me smiling for the final couple of km! The time for analysis isn’t at the finish line – that’s the place for celebrating with everyone.

AsiaTRI:  Usually it’s really hard to be at the peak performance in both Roth and Kona. Do you consider you were in the best shape in Roth?

Rachel Joyce: I felt my preparation was very good for Challenge Roth. After a slow start to the year and a DNF in Texas 70.3 in April I learnt I was very low in iron (“Iron anaemic”) . It was obvious from how I felt in Texas that I wasn’t going to perform until I got healthy. I took a step back from racing for a couple of months, got healthy and focused on my preparation for Roth. I was pleased at how training had gone but, like many of my competition whose main focus for the year is Kona, your best shape for June/July is not the same as best shape for October. I feel with a good long blog of training over the summer I will arrive in Kona in better shape and in a position to step up my performance. A lot of hard graft though to be done between then and now!

AsiaTRI:  And What do you expect for Kona? May you have an advantage over Rinny?

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Rachel Joyce: I believe that I have the tools to win Kona. Without the belief I would be my own limiter! Over the next couple of months I will be spending each day preparing for Kona and Rinny is the two times champion and so rightfully, she will go in as the favourite but I’m under no illusion – there will be a good few other women on the Kona start line hungry for the win – it’s going to be a hard battle on October 11!

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