Wednesday, April 30, 2008

UR's Julie Rechel on her Future as a Triathlete

This is a cross post with my other blog, the Near West End News.

I was lucky to talk briefly with Julie Rechel, the Richmonder who won the Twenty-12 Talent Identification Triathlon in Tuscaloosa, AL, last week. I asked her if she had any idea, going into this race, that she might win it. “I had no idea!” she said. “I looked up all my competition — and I was going to be so excited if I was in the first half (of the finishers). It really took me by surprise.”
Rechel is a distance runner at UR who is described on the UR website as a three sport athlete. The three sports? Swimming, running, tennis. Since this was a talent competition to scout for potential triathletes for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, you’d think that it would drastically change her plans. But it hasn’t. “Right now the only thing it changes is that I’ll now race U23 Elite.” She says if the Olympics are in her future, it is far in the future.
Rechel is both talented and humble. “I’m not particularly outstanding at any one (event) but I”m good at them all. I can can improve in each, but there is not one that stands out as my weakness.” In training she said she’s been focusing on the bike leg, biking mostly on Old Gun Road and Riverside Drive, and she’s glad she spent so much time on the bike because that is what ended up winning it for her. It didn’t hurt that she had a personal best on the run either.“I had a phenomenal run. I dropped 1 minute off the best run of my life.” Previously, at a 5K that was not part of a triathlon, her best time was 18.52 but in this race even after the swim and pushing herself on the bike, she came in at 18.39.
“I love this sport of triathlon. I love the training. I love the athletes”

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