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

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AsiaTRI:   The british Triathletes are among the best in every distance. How do you see your role in this amazing generation?

Rachel Joyce: It’s funny because I still see myself as new to the sport of triathlon: I took it up in my mid to late 20s when I was working as an attorney in London. I didn’t turn pro until 2008 at the age of 30 and 2009 was the first year I trained and raced full time having resigned from my job as a lawyer. There were plenty of British triathletes for me to look up to and draw inspiration from: Bella Bayliss, Julie Dibens, Chrissie Wellington, Cat Morrison, Leanda Cave, Helen Jenkins – the list goes on. Chrissie Wellington is a friend from university and so to watch her break through the perceived limits of what was possible in terms in women’s racing had a huge influence on me and the women’s long course racing in general. My role? I hope that I can inspire girls and women to jump in and give triathlon a try. You could say my progress in the sport has been pretty steady so I guess I’m an example that consistent hard work is rewarded. Above all else I love the sport: it has changed my life and so I want others to be able to experience that: whatever level they participate at.

@Wagner Araujo
@Wagner Araujo

AsiaTRI:   How about Catherine Faux. Is she the new brit kid on he block?

Rachel Joyce: Catherine is extremely talented and from what I have read has a great work ethic. Her performance in Kona 2013 was brilliant and I think just the beginning for her. I’m excited to see what she can do although I know she is also pursuing a career in medicine so we will have to see what path she decides to take.

AsiaTRI:   You’re always so classy and and polite. Is it your on everyday life? How this positive way of thing helps you in the sports?

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Rachel Joyce: Ha! I think the politeness has been drilled into me by my British upbringing….I don’t even notice I’m doing it but even my boyfriend, Brett will sometimes tell me off for being too polite with my P’s and Q’s!! But really, I try to treat people how I would like to be treated – nothing gets my goat more than seeing a person talk down to others or being disrespectful. I’m generally a glass half full person: and a problem solver so when things don’t go to plan I look for the way around. Of course I have bad days where I struggle to stay upbeat – we all do – thankfully I have an incredible support crew who I can lean on during these times and they pep me up or just tell me to snap out of it! I think success in any work in life is probably better defined by how you deal with the bumps in the road not the smooth bits and I try to remember that when plan a doesn’t work out.

AsiaTRI:    I interviewed you in 2011 when you used to race for Abu Dhabi Team. What changed in your professional life since that date?

Rachel Joyce: Wow, yes – I feel like quite a lot has changed since we last spoke in 2011. I left the Abu Dhabi Team at the end of 2011 to go “solo”. I enjoyed my time with the Team, it taught me what being a “pro” reallymeant, and I made some great friends and it gave me some unique and very funny memories that I won’t forget! In 2012 I was ready to go out on my own: I wanted to build my own relationships with sponsors as that is rewarding in it’s own right. It was a bit of a gamble as I had no sponsors when I left – but I was lucky to sign with some incredible companies early in 2012 who I am still with today plus some others: Newton Running, Cervelo, Biestmilch, PowerBar, ROKA, Shimano, Louis Garneau, ISM, XLab, and Oakley. Without the support of these companies I would not be able to perform as I do.

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Last year I changed coaches and started working with Dave Scott at the beginning of 2013. I worked with Matt Dixon for 3 years from 2010-2012 and the principles I learnt from Matt built me into the athlete I am today. I like his approach and he was fun to work with: in fact it is a sign of his generosity that I can still contact him for advice or use him as a sounding board today. I did decide though that it was time for a change and I felt Dave was the man to take me to the next level in triathlon. He is a legend in the sport, and he has a huge bank of experience. I’ve really enjoyed being coached by him the past couple of years: I see him regularly as he lives in Boulder and working with him is challenging and fun!

Other changes have been moving to the tri mecca, Boulder in Colorado. Brett (my partner) and I came out in 2012 to see if we’d like it: we loved it and have been here ever since. We’ve just bought a house here so I think we’ll be here for a few more years!

@Wagner Araujo
@Wagner Araujo

AsiaTRI:   What do you want to change for the next 2 years?

Rachel Joyce: The plan at the moment is to continue with what we are doing. I feel I’m still improving so have no plans to hang up my tri boots just yet!


Wagner Araujo is a National Geographic awarded photographer and main editor of MundoTRI, the main Triathlon website in Brazil.

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