Hi Jen and Stephen,
Many thanks for accepting our invitation to be featured in Ambassador Antics. We are very happy to have you both on board, legends.
How and when did you become part of the TA Family? Did you both join at the same time?
About three years ago, I convinced Steve to sign up with me to a try the Tri program. Unfortunately I got injured and Steve went on to steal my dream of participating in a triathlon.
Tell us about your triathlon racing history? Are you short or long course (or both!)? What races have you done?
Jen: To date my triathlon career has involved standing in the freezing cold rain or boiling hot sun cheering and supporting Steve in his events.
Stephen: In my first year after doing the Try the Tri program, I did the the short course series as well as Challenge Melbourne. Since then I focused on Challenge Melbourne each year. And yes, Jen was there for all of them (in some pretty ordinary conditions).
Can you share your goals/plans for the coming season with us?
Jen: My life as a spectator and supporter from the sidelines has come to an end. As much as I love supporting Steve, my goal is to complete a half ironman this season 18/19 (Surprise Ollie !!!)
Stephen: The plan is to take on my first full Ironman in Busselton in December. After that, we’ll see how it goes. At some point, I guess I’ll have to sit on the sidelines while I support Jen through her races.
What do you do when you’re not swimming, riding and running?
Jen: ha, ha, ha – is there anything else but swimming, riding and running? Its the most exciting part of our days, that and planning for the next camp or event.
We have 4 children between us and both work full time, so there is not too much “free time” for much else.
Stephen: Usually sleeping! But as Jen said, free time isn’t something we have a lot of. And the washing, we spend most of the weekend washing training gear.
This was your second time in Thanyapura, tell us what makes this camp so special for you both or a highlight that you would like to share.
Jen: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t go for the 3hr spin bike sessions! My favourite part of the camp is the people. I love the people, I love all the coaches, team mates, partners of team mates, the staff at the resort and the beautiful children on the run loop who get so excited and give you a high five as you run (or in my case shuffle) past. They supported and encouraged me through every session and helped me push past what I thought were my limits.
The warm weather in the middle of winter is also a plus.
Stephen: The bike riding. I just love the cycling over there. The roads are amazing (despite the odd ‘bump’) and challenging at the same time. It’s also a great way to get away from the usual tourist areas and see some of the villages and towns in Thailand. It’s not the usual Thai holiday!
What was the hardest moment in Thanyapura for you? How did you overcome it?
Jen: The hardest but also my proudest moment in Thanyapura was the 15km run loop on the last day of the camp. It was twice as far as I had run at the camp and was so hot! But I felt so supported – whether it was Maria and Jez at the halfway mark, Hanna’s encouragement as she floated past, Andy and Steve doubling back to make sure I was ok and get me to the “finish line” or the Ollie hug at the end – my new friends got me through.
Stephen: Other than the cold/hot plunge pools, for me it was the running. Last year I was injured going into the camp so didn’t have the same level of running volume. This year, it stepped up a level and Ollie pushed me hard to my limits. It was great to have Dave (our NZ friend) to run with and push each other.
Tell us something we don’t know about you!
Jen: I finished high school at 16 and lived and travelled in Switzerland for 2 years before starting Uni.
Steve: I stole Jen’s triathlon dream 🙂
Do you have anything else you would like to share? Any advice for your fellow triathletes, new or seasoned?
Jen: At the risk of sounding a little cliche – Always believe in yourself
Steve: Enjoy the journey that is the triathlon life. Triathlon challenges us in so many ways it’s important to reflect on the journey we all go through and the achievements we make along the way.
Again, many thanks for your time, Stephen and Jen. It was super cool to get to know a bit more about you in Thailand and we’re excited to now be able to share this with the rest of the crew! All the best for the rest of the year and we will see you soon at the next training session 🙂
Eddy and Steph.