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It wasn't until her husband, Trevor, took up triathlon that Heather Wurtele started to dream of winning the big races. Trouble was, Trevor didn’t know how to swim in those early days, and Heather was a novice on a road bike. She helped him in the pool; he coached her on the bike. That’s how “Team Wurtele” got its start. The rest is Ironman history.


Now a five-time Ironman champion and North American Ironman 70.3 champion, Heather never aspired to being a pro athlete when she was growing up. She was certainly athletic, but was more of a recreational “jock” playing all kinds of sports and really just enjoying the outdoors. It wasn't until she was in university that the varsity rowing squad recruited her long body for hours of suffering before and after classes.

After university Heather took to triathlon quickly, winning an Ironman after only two years of hard training while working a full-time job. The year after that, both Heather and Trevor quit their jobs and gave their full attention to triathlon. They sold all of their possessions, bought a small RV and took to the road.


After a rocky 2009, Heather managed to win again on one of the toughest Ironman courses: Ironman St. George in Utah. In 2011 she repeated that win and also took the victory at Ironman Lake Placid, breaking the course record held by former Ironman World Champion Heather Fuhr. To top off a great year, she also brought home an eighth-place finish at the Ironman World Championships. This earned Heather the first of four Canadian Long Course Triathlete of the Year titles. In both 2011 and 2012 she was the top Canadian at 70.3 Worlds — finishing sixth and seventh, respectively —  and then starting hitting the podium at the event by coming third in 2014, second in 2015, and third in 2016.

Heather finished 2013 ranked second in the official Ironman 70.3 World Rankings, and didn’t slow down one bit. She won Ironman 70.3 races in Coeur D'Alene, Monterrey, Oceanside and Eagleman. It was over this period that Heather became involved in the development of the Cervelo P5X, both as a test rider and as source of invaluable pro-athlete feedback. In 2015, Heather claimed the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship, a feat she would repeat a year later.


In 2015 Heather captured the title of Ironman 70.3 North American Champion by winning in St. George. The race is notorious for being one of the most difficult 70.3 events in the world. "I'd say I'm extremely happy with my life at the moment," says Heather. "Looking back at the path we took to get to this point, so many little things needed to fall into place. Yes, on one hand we made it happen and made the right choices, but there were many little chance events that could have changed so much. We are so lucky to actually be living our dream.”


Twitter: @teamwurtele

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Heather Wurtele