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Gwen Jorgensen on Ironman racing: “It doesn’t really appeal to me”

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Gwen Jorgensen, arguably one of the sport’s greatest athletes in history, claimed her second consecutive Island House Invitational Triathlon win over the weekend. The 30-year-old, who won Olympic gold in Rio this summer, had an unprecedented winning streak on the ITU circuit from late 2014 to spring of 2016, proving her dominance in short course, draft-legal racing. Despite the non-draft format of Island House, she still came out on top.

However, in an interview with Bob Babbitt after her race, she said racing on the time trial bike wasn’t her preference.

“That’s not my favourite,” she laughed when asked about racing on the TT bike for the three-day event.

Jorgensen, known in triathlon for her remarkable running ability thanks to a background in collegiate running, makes her marathon debut this weekend at the New York City Marathon. She recently gave another interview to New York Road Runners, in which she was asked specifically whether she planned to use the marathon to “step up to the Ironman distance.”

“I have a lot of respect for the Ironman athletes and 70.3 athletes,” she replied, “but it’s something that does not really appeal to me. Even this past weekend, I did [Island House Triathlon], and it was a shorter distance, anywhere from a sprint to an Olympic distance total over the three days, but it was all on a non-drafting bike, and that’s a different animal, I’d say. You have to train differently for it. For me, I feel like I’ve found my niche in ITU draft-legal triathlon, and going to non-draft or longer distance is not something that appeals to me at the moment.”

Jorgensen has said that she and husband Patrick Lemieux plan to spend the next year trying to have a family, but that she would like to return to triathlon and sees Tokyo 2020 and a potential target.