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

06

Jun

2020

the X

Windermere, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

13

Jun

2020

Snaefellsnes Jarnkarl

Snæfellsnes, Iceland

Website Google Map

20

Jun

2020

Moraviaman

Otrokovice, Czech Republic

Website Google Map

21

Jun

2020

Goto Nagasaki Int.

Nagasaki, Japan

Website Google Map

21

Jun

2020

Yorkshireman

Ripon, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

28

Jun

2020

Ch'TriMan

Gravelines, France

Website Google Map YouTube

28

Jun

2020

Northwest Triman

As Pontes de García Rodríguez, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

04

Jul

2020

UKRMAN Iron Triathlon

Bilyaivka, Kharkiv region, Ukraine

Website Google Map

05

Jul

2020

The Bastion

Hever Castle, Kent, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

05

Jul

2020

Canada Man Xtreme

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada

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

14

Jun

2020

Ironman France

Nice, France

Website Google Map YouTube

28

Jun

2020

Ironman Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

12

Jul

2020

Ironman Vitoria Gasteiz

Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain

Website Google Map

25

Jul

2020

Ironman Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, California, United States

Website Google Map

26

Jul

2020

Ironman Lake Placid

Lake Placid, United States

Website Google Map

15

Aug

2020

Ironman Sweden

Kalmar, Sweden

Website Google Map YouTube

23

Aug

2020

Ironman Mont Tremblant

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

Website Google Map YouTube

23

Aug

2020

IRONMAN Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Website Google Map

30

Aug

2020

Ironman Canada

Penticton, Canada

Website Google Map

05

Sep

2020

Ironman Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia

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

06

Jun

2020

DeuceMan

Show Low, Arizona, United States

Website Google Map

06

Jun

2020

Slavic Wave

Pereyaslav city, Kiev region, Ukraine

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Lake San Antonio Tri

California, United States

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Oliver Half Tri

Oliver, BC, Canada

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Outlaw Half Bowood

Bowood, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Cotswold113

Cotswold, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

07

Jun

2020

Challenge Geraardsbergen

Geraardsbergen, Belgium

Website Google Map

13

Jun

2020

Wales Middle Tri

Fishguard, Wales, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

14

Jun

2020

Grand Rapids Tri

Gand Rapids, MI, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

19

Jun

2020

BeastMan

Sunriver, Oregon, United States

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

21

Jun

2020

70.3 Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website Google Map

28

Jun

2020

70.3 Lubbock

Lubbock, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2020

70.3 Lombok

Lombok, Indonesia

Website Google Map

05

Jul

2020

70.3 Jonkoping

Jönköping, Sweden

Website Google Map YouTube

11

Jul

2020

70.3 Muncie

Muncie, Indiana, United States

Website Google Map

12

Jul

2020

70.3 Muskoka

Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Website Google Map

12

Jul

2020

70.3 Ecuador

Manta, Ecuador

Website Google Map

12

Jul

2020

70.3 Florianopolis

Florianopolis, Brazil

Website Google Map

19

Jul

2020

70.3 Musselman

Geneva, NY, United States

Website Google Map

19

Jul

2020

70.3 St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Website Google Map

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

IRONMAN announce Safe Return to Racing Event Guidelines

IRONMAN announce Safe Return to Racing Event Guidelines

Friday 29 May 2020 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN today announced its Safe Return to Racing event guidelines, a series of comprehensive operating principles prepared in accordance with industry standards for open air mass participation sporting events. Based on standards from the World Health Organization (WHO) and developed with guidance from the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board (IGMAB), the best practices are designed to allow for IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons to be organized in a manner consistent with each of IRONMAN’s more

2020 IRONMAN World Champs Kona Hawaii rescheduled to February 6, 2021

2020 IRONMAN World Champs Kona Hawaii rescheduled to February 6, 2021

Thursday 14 May 2020 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN today announced in conjunction with host city partners and authorities in Hawai`i, United States and Taupo, New Zealand, that due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN® World Championship and IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship cannot take place on their originally scheduled dates. The IRONMAN World Championship will now take place on February 6, 2021 returning to its historic original race month and marking 40 years since it first took place in Ka more

PTO World Champs at CHALLENGE Daytona with $1 Million Pro Purse

PTO World Champs at CHALLENGE Daytona with $1 Million Pro Purse

Tuesday 28 Apr 2020 [Triathlon News]

It was announced today that USA Triathlon and the Professional Triathletes Organisation have joined forces with CHALLENGE NORTH AMERICA to be part of its iconic CHALLENGE DAYTONA race at Daytona International Speedway on December 4th, 5th and 6th. The three-day triathlon festival will attract athletes from around the world to compete at the “World Center of Racing ®” and will feature an array of different events, including age-grouper sprint and middle-distance events, junior challenges, a Pro- more

2020 IRONMAN World Championship qualification window extended

2020 IRONMAN World Championship qualification window extended

Thursday 09 Apr 2020 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN today announced adjustments to the slot allocations for the 2020 Vega IRONMAN® World Championship based on qualifying events that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRONMAN World Championship qualifying window for the 2020 Vega IRONMAN World Championship has been officially extended from August 23, 2020 to more

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

Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.