Two years ago, Jackson Laundry attempted his first half Ironman at Barrelman Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, he dropped out due to a heart arrhythmia that he’s since learned to manage. Following that attempt, Laundry has become a contender at some of the top 70.3 races in North America. Earlier this summer, he won his first half Ironman in Raleigh, NC.
This weekend, Laundry returns to Barrelman. “I’m really excited to get back on the Barrelman race course. I’m hoping to put together a good race and get some redemption out there.” He’ll also be looking to get back into racing after the Escape Triathlon Series race in Washington, D.C., was cancelled due to flooding last weekend. “It was disappointing to drive all the way down to Washington just to have the race cancelled,” says Laundry. Despite the cancellation, he was able to get in some added training time before Barrelman and 70.3 Augusta on September 23rd.
Laundry will have some healthy competition this weekend. Taylor Reid, an Ontario native and professional long course triathlete, is expected to make his Barrelman debut on September 16th. “I’ve wanted to do Barrelman for the past few years, but I’ve either been injured or not home,” says Reid. Coming off a disappointing result in Santa Cruz, Reid will be motivated to have a big performance close to home. In a head-to-head comparison this year, Laundry has bested Reid. Despite the numbers, Laundry knows what kind of race he’s capable of producing. “Reid will certainly be some tough competition for this weekend. He’s one of those guys that can pull off a great race at any time, and I’ll never count him out.”
There are a few other Ontario professionals and elite age group triathletes competing at Barrelman. “I don’t expect them to challenge for the win, but I won’t count them out,” says Laundry. Two of Laundry’s Loaring Personal Coaching (LPC) teammates, David Hopton and Ben Rudson will be racing on Sunday as well. Both of whom are capable of top-five finishes says Laundry.
The course from Welland to Niagara Falls, ON, is stunning, fast and a great first half Ironman distance race for those looking to make the jump from the Olympic triathlon. It’s especially well-suited to Laundry and his strong bike split. “The course is a fast one. It’ll be fun to go for a fast overall time, especially on the bike.” With that in mind, he’ll try to manage his bike effort in order to finish strong. “The run course is pretty tough, so I’ll have to be careful not to overdo it on the bike.”