Montreal native and one of the sports most successful coaches, Cliff English has added Leanda Cave, the 2012 Ironman World Champion and Ironman 70.3 Champion to his 2014 roster. At the age of 35, Cave is the only woman in history to collect both long distance championships in the same calendar year. English is the former husband and coach of Canadian Olympian and Kona runner-up, Samantha McGlone and has also coached a number of the sport’s top athletes including Tim O’Donnell, Hunter Kemper, Heather Jackson, T.J. Tollakson and Peter Reid. English also served as the USAT National Team coach from 2005 to 2008.
In February of 2013, Cave was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer directly related to over-exposure to the sun. In her tweets announcing the diagnosis, Cave said that BCC was a 100 per cent treatable. Yet an increase in spotlight and responsibilities following an historical year, compromised Cave’s 2013 race season. She attempted to defend both her championships but was unable to finish within the top 10 in either race.
In a blog post on December 27, Cave announced that her desire to put distance on the events of 2013, she would be leaving coach Siri Lindley.
“Siri has been the most amazing coach for me over the past 4 years and what we were able to achieve was beyond my wildest dreams,” Cave stated in the post. “Siri believed I could do it and convinced me to believe the same. The journey has taken us through huge ups and downs, which not only made us a stronger team, but tight friends. So, to say goodbye to Siri as a coach was one of the hardest things I have ever had to tell someone in my life.”
This will be the second time Cave and English have worked together. He coached Cave in 2005-2006. Now based in Tucson, Ariz., the former Canadian junior national cycling team member switched to coaching full time in 2002, serving as a developmental coach under Lance Watson at the Canadian National Training Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. There he continued to coach McGlone, studied for his degree in high performance coaching at the National Coaching Institute at Victoria University.