One of Canada’s most accomplished Ironman Triathletes, and all-round great guy, Jasper Blake, is retiring from Ironman competition to focus time on his family and to give back to the sport community.
Blake will continue to coach, speak at corporate and school events, as well as build Aspire Nutrition Inc., the company behind 7SYSTEMS. Blake plans to move his competitive focus to the growing sport of Mountain Running.
Since the beginning of his triathlon career in 1995 Blake has won over 30 races including Ironman, half-Ironman, and Olympic distance Triathlons. One of his greatest successes was his 2006 Ironman victory. In fact, Blake has never finished worse than 5th at Ironman Canada. Blake has also won the Bronze Medal at the 1998 World Championships (20-24), come 2nd at the National Duathlon Championships and finished in the top 10 at the ITU World Long Course Championships. He has been named to various National Triathlon teams over the past 15 years including the 2002 Commonwealth Games Team.
In 1998 Blake was named the Canadian Amateur Triathlete of the year, and in 1999/2000 he was Academic All Canadian while attending the University of Guelph. He has been the Ontario Triathlete of the year five-times, Triathlon Magazine Canada Long distance Athlete of the year (2006), and Triathlon Canada Long Distance Athlete of the year (2006).
“I’ve had a great career in triathlon and I’m grateful I had the privilege to compete as a professional for so many years. I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world representing Canada, competing with (against) the world’s best long-distance athletes, and chasing my goals,” said Blake. “It was a tough decision to leave international triathlon competition but I feel the timing is right and I want to leave on my own terms. I have new goals I want to tackle and I am excited about what the future holds.”
Triathlon is really the third sport that Blake has competed in at a National Level. Blake was a competitive skier through his teen years training for a spot on the National Ski Team. But it was another sport that lured him away and to Toronto in the early 90s to train out of Ontario Racquet club and pursue a future in tennis. Blake received a full Scholarship for tennis to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, a NCAA division one school. It was in 1995 that Blake transferred to the University of Guelph, joined the swim team, ran track and began a career in triathlon.
In 2007 Blake, his brother Oliver, and a big support crew took their mother, Pippa Blake, who has MS, to Everest Base Camp. Not only did they fulfill one of her dreams, it inspired Blake to do more to eradicate this illness for future generations. Shortly after their successful journey, Blake started Race4MS, a not-for-profit initiative with the objective of raising funds and generating awareness for MS. They have raised over $150,000 to date.
Blake looking forward to having more time and energy to spend with his wife and two young kids.
“Having kids has been life changing,” said Blake. “They have enhanced every part of my life. I look at my kids differently than anyone else – when I look at them the world makes sense no matter what else is happening. Ironman is incredibly demanding in both time and energy. I love the sport and will always be involved at some level but it’s time to move on from professional racing and give that energy to my kids.”
We will have more about Jasper Blake and his retirement in an upcoming print edition of Triathlon Magazine Canada.