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Rachel Joyce: motivated for 2015
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Wednesday 10th December 2014

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Great Britain's Rachel Joyce ( has been one of the most consistent performers at Kona over the past six seasons. With a third place finish this year - her second podium finish in Hawaii - the 'Joycinator' now has an Ironman World Championship CV that includes 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd place finishes. Just one more to complete the set.

Joyce is much more than a Kona performer however. ITU World Long Distance Champion in 2011, Challenge Roth winner in 2012 and Ironman wins in Lanzarote, Cozumel and Texas are just a few of the highlights on an impressive C.V.

Prior to Saturday's inaugural Challenge Bahrain, I sat down with Rachel talk about how despite her Kona record "I was really down on myself after the race... it wouldn't have taken an out of the ordinary run (to win)", living in the U.S., plans to race more in Europe and more.

On her Kona consistency...

"I've built my year, especially in the last few years around Kona. Not necessarily deliberately, but I haven't raced so much which has put more pressure on Kona, so it has been nice to deliver a performance when I get there. Getting on the podium wasn't really what I wanted... but you can't be too disappointed with it, even though I am if I'm being objective! But, it was a solid day out there."

On developing confidence as an athlete...

"It's been a process. I definitely felt like I was 'playing' at being a professional in the first few years; I felt like I didn't really belong, a bit of an outsider, but I think the more time I've spent doing it an got the results then comes confidence... now I no longer think it's a fluke. I have moments when my confidence isn't great, but I think that is normal for any athlete, but I don't have that 'why am I here' feelings now, so am much more confident in that sense."


Kona 2014... frustration of potential a win that got away?

"Yes, absolutely... I was really down on myself after the race. The swim was a bit off par, I hadn't been swimming great all year. But the run, I was running better than ever in training and it just didn't translate on race and I don't really understand why... but it wouldn't have taken an out of the ordinary run, and that's what is so frustrating. It would have taken something not even close to what I think I can do - but I had a bad run and that happens in racing. Thankfully I've moved on now from that stage and it is actually now a huge motivator for next year."

On moving to and being based in the States...

"...we bought a place this year. We don't know how long we are going to be there, but it is just an amazing place to live with the mountains and the sunshine. I miss a lot of things about being in the UK... but for now it is great for training, great for getting to races. When I was looking for sponsors it made sense as there were more sponsorship opportunities in the U.S.

"Now though I feel ready to come back and do more races in Europe because they are different and they are special and I don't want to lose that. I definitely plan over the next couple of years doing more races in Europe. I'll still race in the U.S., but work out my season so I get to do both."

Rachel on the Challenge Bahrain podium, second place

More focus on Middle Distance / 70.3 events over the next few years?

"That's what I find really exciting about Bahrain - I don't really know what I can do at this distance. I do have a tendency to revert to Ironman pace, but I do have a lot more 'top end' and next year I will be focussing on the 70.3 World's as well as Kona and I do think I can do very well at the distance. It's nice to have two different goals and you can experiment a bit more in a 70.3, but in an Ironman you don't want to be blowing up at mile five, because that's going to make it a very long day!

Any thoughts on which Ironman you'll race next to validate for Kona 2015?

At the moment I'm thinking of Ironman Texas because I've got really good memories of that race. I think I had one of the best races of my career there in 2013. I want to go back and have another go, it's quite close, with enough time to prepare without having to rush.

Rachel on the Challenge Bahrain podium, second place

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