If any athlete can bounce back from an injury and return to top form in a hurry, it is Jackson Laundry. In 2019 he was in a terrible bike crash at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, where he broke his shoulder. Less than a year later he would take a 70.3 win and another podium finish, while also taking the Professional Triathletes Organization-backed Canadian Professional Championship in September, 2020.
Laundry enjoyed a stellar 2021, including an appearance at the Collins Cup, a fifth-place finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and a win at Ironman 70.3 Ecuador. We caught up with Laundry this week for an update on his latest injury challenge.
Triathlon Magazine Canada: So what happened? One day we were looking at great social media posts from your training camp in St. George, the next you were on your way in for surgery.
Jackson Laundry: On the last ride of camp in St. George, I hit a patch of gravel and went down pretty hard on my left side. Luckily my helmet prevented a concussion, but I broke my thumb and probably one of my ribs.
How is the recovery from the surgery going? Do you have a timeframe for when you will be able to get back to racing?
The rib injury has gotten a little bit better each day. Three weeks later and it’s almost fully healed. The thumb, unfortunately, needed surgery which I got six days after the crash. Its been two weeks now and it’s getting much better. I’m not able to train fully, because I’m slowed down in the swim due to the brace I have to wear. I should be out of it in the next two weeks or less and fully back to normal.
You had a great year in 2021, despite all of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. What was the key to your success?
2021 was a great year for sure. I wouldn’t say there’s one key to my success, rather consistent improvements each year resulting in a great 2021. One big thing was that I started to be believe I could compete at the highest level, which goes a long way toward making it happen.
Once you get back to racing, what are the goals for 2022?
I’ll be racing fairly often from March through June, chasing wins and podiums, as well as points to qualify for bigger races later in the year. If all goes as planned, July through October I’ll race the PTO Canadian Open, Collins Cup, PTO US Open, and 70.3 worlds. I’d love a top-three at world’s and at the PTO Opens. I’ll be racing with the intention of being at the front, as will so many guys. It’s going to be an exciting season, for sure.
You did your first full in 2021. Can you tell us a bit about that experience? Will we see you do more of those in the future?
Ironman Mallorca was my last race in 2021. It went okay, I was 13th and went 8:26 on a very tough course. I will need to put a more serious focus on training for that distance to be as successful as I plan to be at the distance some day. For now, I plan to focus on the 70.3 and 100km distance, there are so many good opportunities there, and I’m racing well. I may keep focused at the middle distance a few more years before chasing fulls and Kona.
You are part of the Real Triathlon Squad. Can you tell us a bit about the team?