South African Jeanni Seymour has made her mark on the 70.3 scene placing second in 2017 and 2018 in the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championships and compiling numerous 70.3 wins to her name. Last weekend in Galveston, she took home the IRONMAN 70.3 Texas title bringing her tally to 9 professional wins at the half distance.
With this being her season opener, Seymour explained “I made it a priority to take a longer off-season and stayed patient throughout the winter. Not racing too early this year allowed me to put in consistent training that my coach and I felt was needed for the objectives we have. This also made me hungry to race again. The first race of the season is always a bit of an unknown but I took it as an opportunity to blow out the winter training cobwebs and test of my current fitness. The sport is evolving so rapidly that sometimes you can miss a beat if you focus everything on racing the entire year. I have learnt quickly if you are unable to evolve, you will get left behind. We took this winter to analyze and get better.”
Following the choppy saltwater swim in Offats Bayou, Seymour was second out of the water behind Rachel Olsen, 25 seconds up on Meredith Kessler and Alicia Kaye and 2:15 ahead of Dede Griesbauer.
The 56-mile bike course saw a lot of changing positions with Griesbauer charging to the front of the race. Seymour backed up her swim with the 3rd best bike split – starting the run in 3rd, 3:34 down to Griesbauer and chased closely behind by Kessler and Kaye, 1 and 8 seconds back.
Showing her lethal run speed, Seymour made the pass on Griesbauer by mile two and never looked back. Clocking another race best run split of 1:18:01, Seymour broke the tape in 4:01:44 to become the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Texas Champion. Lesley Smith ran her way into 2nd place, 2:50 behind Seymour with Jackie Hering rounding out the podium in 3rd.
Following her victory, Seymour said “I dream of the days where everything comes together. Those are becoming harder and harder to come by so winning is something I never take for granted.”
“It’s a great feeling to have all of the hard work rewarded with this type of performance.”
“Having coach Jesse waiting for me on the red carpet for this race was so special and I think we were both a bit teary as we both invest so much. When I win, my team wins.”
Building upon her success year after year, Seymour said “I owe a lot of my continued progress to my coach, we have built a rock-solid coach-athlete relationship and he has a way of challenging me while at the same time supporting me in just the right way that works for us both. The most important component of my training has been my ability to keep consistent and stay healthy while putting in big training blocks. This is what makes you better, it does not come easy and it takes time.”
When thunderstorms rolled in shortly after the pro’s finished, IRONMAN was forced to shut the race down and though Seymour felt fortunate she was able to pull off her win before mother nature set in, she expressed “Many age groupers were unable to finish. I can only imagine how tough it would have been to have to abandon the race on course. I hope all the age groupers affected will use this as fuel for the fire and sign up for another race to achieve their goals and reach that finish line.”
1) 4:01:44 Jeanni Seymour
2) 4:04:34 Lesley Smith
3) 4:06:56 Jackie Hering
4) 4:07:29 Alicia Kaye
5) 4:08:07 Meredith Kessler
6) 4:08:20 Frankie Sanjana
7) 4:09:00 Linsey Corbin
8) 4:09:27 Lauren Barnett
9) 4:10:34 Alissa Doehla
10) 4:14:05 Lisa Becharas