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Jenny Fletcher: Racing at home in Calgary, maturing as an athlete, and Kona

The Alberta-born model and pro triathlete raced at her hometown event on the weekend, Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Here's what she has to say about life in the sport right now.

Your year has been focused around qualifying for Kona. After two races that didn’t really go your way at Ironman South Africa and Ironman Cairns, where are you at with that goal and how are you planning the rest of your season?Β 

Considering those two Ironman races were championship races with solid fields and only the second and third Ironman I have done I can’t be disappointed with the big picture in mind. I felt because of my late decision to try for Kona I had to put myself up against to best but also take chances with choosing those races. I knew if I had a great race my chances of Kona were better. It was a hit or miss in a way. I don’t regret racing those races, although each one had its own issues. I have learned so so much and upon reflecting I realize I needed those races to teach me certain things. I knew you needed to start qualifying for races the fall of the year before but at that time Kona wasn’t on my radar so I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there. Did the races go as I hoped for? No. And I was truthfully devastated but it hasn’t stopped me (almost haha) — I just keep pushing forward and have set my sights on 2018! I’ve got some races coming up that will set me up for a better chance to qualify for next year.

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I'm wearing this shirt proud…. finally!! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»! Yes it was a rough day and no where near how I planned but I toughed it out and finished. (Believe me my head was not held high at all) I was embarrassed, frustrated, disappointed, mad, and tearful. Ready to quit all together. But now…. NOW… after time to let all the emotions and everything settle I have a mission. To come back stronger than ever. I'm making huge changes. Most importantly the mental focus & stamina. Thank you to @mindfulapproachtomotion for opening my eyes to the truth #whynotme #championinthemaking #watchoutworld #imnotdoneyet πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ†#buildtherightway #LIVEO2

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You raced Ironman 70.3 Calgary this weekend, a “hometown race” for you. How did you feel heading back home to Calgary to race, and was your family out cheering for you?

I was so happy to be home. I didn’t have the prep I intended at all, so I looked at it as a fun race to be honest. I’m working on some thing right now to fine tune for the big races I have coming up. After focusing on full Ironmans this year, I thought stepping down to the half should be easier but I’ve lost a lot of speed so it definitely hurt. I remembered to embrace the pain and remind myself I love it. Haha. It was great to have my family out for support.

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The BEST part of this race @imcalgary !! Besides it being home πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ was just that…. Having my family all day out on the course cheering for me!!! ❀️❀️❀️ THANKYOU to my Mom & Dad, my brother Chris, & my nephews Jayden and Brycen, & my nieces Ashlyn and Annaliese for making my day. #allsmiles #calgary703 Finished 8th!! My goal of mental focus was attained better than ever! Now I just need to get some speed, strength and power back πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»before the next race. This lady is IM Speed right now. πŸŒπŸ˜…… love to all my sponsors~ @santinisms @ventumracing @garmin @velofix @topicaledge @roadid @bounce_usa @zippspeed @rokasports @sramroad @oakley

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Β You’ve spent some time training in new locations this year such as Mammoth and Boulder. Tell us about your time there.

I LOVE Mammoth. I spent a few weeks there training and it seriously is one of my favourite places in the world. I was in Boulder but only for a few days for Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae’s Baby O shower. It’s always good there as there are so many people but recently I found some new training partners in Cali and am looking forward to spending the fall season there. But if you know me at all I can’t sit still… and before you know if I will be somewhere across the world experiencing what I love most — travel and adventure!

Are you nearing the end of your professional triathlon career, and what are you looking forward to accomplishing next?

I’ve stopped letting age tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I’ve decided I’ll take one day at a time until I feel I’m done. I was telling myself last year I “should” stop because of my age and if I wanted a family but the family isn’t happening and my age doesn’t matter so to be honest I’m not sure how much longer I’ll go. I have my sights set on Kona 2018. The personal side of things could change my outlook but for now I LOVE doing what I do… so I’m actually looking on stepping it up next year in many ways. Still being me but changing some things to make my life move in the direction I want it too.

I also have a lot of ideas for the next career stages — life Coaching, continue modelling, real estate, training camps, brand ambassador.

What else are you most looking forward to in the latter half of the season?

A solid Ironman race that I know I put my heart and soul into! Some fun travel and adventure planned. Stay tuned.