Bridgend triathlete Helen Jenkins returned to racing in style this month, delivering a strong performance at the Ironman 70.3 Dubai to finish in the top 5. The performance is even more remarkable given that it follows a 4-year break that involved having two children and two spinal surgeries.
Jenkins finished 4th against a world class field, just 1m30s off a spot on the podium, following the 1.9km sea swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run.
After a great swim Helen exited the water in second and maintained her top five position on the bike finishing up with an 1 hour 25 mins 52 seconds for the 21.1km run, which she also saw her debut new partner On’s running shoes, Helen’s chosen shoe and run kit for the years’ to come.
“I am really happy with my result today. It is a great starting point at a new distance, I have never raced further than an Olympic distance event and today was my longest run, even in training,” said Helen after the race.
“I was so unsure of my fitness coming into the race, so I am really happy with where I am. I know with some more consistent training over the next few months I can really improve. I have only been back training for 6 months after a long time off having Max.”
“It was great to compare myself against one of the world’s best 70.3 racers, Imogen Symmonds, she was a long way ahead of me, but I like to see where the standard is and hopefully with some more training, I can narrow that gap. I definitely feel on track for the future.”
Helping Helen going forward is the fantastic team at On. Running shoe selection was key for Helen, especially with her previous back and injury issues.
Marc Jenkins, Helen’s husband and Coach, added;
“We looked at numerous shoes, and tried several to find the best fit for Helen going forward. Most importantly they provide the comfort she needs to perform, ensuring she is pain free and able to get the most out of her ability. Today’s performance shows we are on the right track with our partners and training. There’s still progress to make, but it is a great start to build on going forward and onto greater success at this new distance”.
Ladi Demko, Global Athletes Manager at On comments: “We’re thrilled to have Helen on board, and that we can help her perform not only to her best but pain free. Helen raced in the On Cloud 50/50 and has the full On range at her disposal for training and day to day life. We can’t wait to see where the next years take her.”
On joins, Helen’s long-term principal partner HUUB and supporters Enve and Stages Cycling in helping Helen to push forward.
Helen Jenkins’ next race is Ironman 70.3 Oceanside on April 5th, 2020.
Image Copyright: Ryan Sosna-Bowd