Brit Rachel Joyce says she was a hyperactive child, which probably explains how as an adult she had the incredible energy required to be both a champion triathlete and a corporate lawyer. This duality is also reflected in Joyce's rather unusual favorite food, being the quirky combination of beetroot and chocolate, which she loves to combine in a cake. When she's not racing about riding, running or swimming, the super energetic 2011 International Triathlon Union World Long Course Champion is out scuba diving, playing tennis or skiing. The go-getting Joyce began her sporting life as a swimmer, but in 2005 she grew bored of following the black line and decided to give triathlon a go.
"The natural next step for a 50m specialist in the pool!" she says.
Years earlier, Joyce had been roped into a triathlon at university where she borrowed a bike with one gear and suffered terrible jelly legs on the run. Unsurprisingly, it was several years before her next attempt. Now, of course, Joyce rides on a Cervelo P5, having switched from the P3 several months ago for the coming season.
Before she quit her legal job in 2008, Joyce would switch from her work suit into spandex so she could cram in training before work, after and during her lunch hours. Sometimes, this meant she was closing a deal at midnight before hopping on her bike for the ten miles journey home. Despite such a busy schedule, during this period Joyce won her age group at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2006 and placed top age grouper at the Ironman 70.3 Monaco relay challenge. Since deciding to dedicate herself to triathlons full-time, Joyce has enjoyed a steady rise in the sport. She placed fifth in her first Ironman in Florida in 2008 in a time of 9:37 and less than a year later was crossing the line at the Ironman World Championships in 6th place. She now has three top ten finishes in Kona to her name, a world title and two Iron distance titles, Ironman Lanzarote 2011 and Challenge Roth 2012. Her finish time in Challenge Roth (4:45:03) also puts her down as the fifth fastest woman over the Iron distance.
Outside of triathlons, Joyce is still a swimming champ and enjoys nothing less challenging than jumping into chilly waters, be they Loch Ness, the Irish Sea or San Francisco Bay. She raced in chilly temperatures in the 2004 European Cold Water Swimming Championships where she took home the 25-meter breaststroke title. Joyce has also volunteered to be a "buddy swimmer" to a friend crossing the English Channel, a real test of any friendship when it involved six hours of swimming in 16 degrees waters sans wetsuit! Up next, she’s headed to Kona, Hawaii for the 2012 Ironman World Championship.
||Ironman World Championship - Kona