For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
American professional triathlete Jesse Thomas will compete in his first Ironman race this Sunday, Sept. 13 at Ironman Wales, he announced today. The five-time Wildflower Long Course Triathlon winner has so far specialized at the half-iron distance. Read Thomas’ announcement, which he posted on Red Bull’s site, below:
Surprise! I’m doing an Ironman. In five days.
I’m taking a lesson from all you crazy ass fans and doing something equally as crazy ass. I’m going to do an Ironman! In five days! And it’s a super hard one! Booyah! I’m scared! (Awkward smile.)
Before I get into the why, here are the details so you can follow along if you like:
What: Ironman Wales; my first Ironman!
Where: Tenby, Wales, UK
When: Sunday, Sept. 13, 7 a.m. local time [Saturday 11 p.m. PT, finish (hopefully) 8-8:30 a.m. Sunday PT]
How to follow/watch: Twitter is probably best for this one (@ironmanlive, @jessemthomas, @laurenfleshman; search for #IMWales; some updates and results should be posted at Ironman.com)
Why: You don’t know until you tri ← that’s terrible.
1. Matt and I made a three-year commitment to 70.3 Worlds, which extended four years after my injury in 2013. That phase ended last weekend, and while I don’t know exactly what my plans are for next year and beyond, I’m intrigued by a new challenge, and definitely want to try an Ironman and see what I think and how I respond to the distance.
2. I’d eventually like to go to Kona. Maybe next year, maybe the year after, but sometime, I’d like to do it if possible. I feel like it’s a challenge/check box I’d like to tick before my career ends. In order to do that, I need to do an Ironman.
3. My season is going to end anyway, and I don’t think I have it in me to do a massive training block for another race, so I will go into this one clearly underprepared, but hopefully still able to gather lots of information and insight to help my training and prep for another one down the road.
4. This is all assuming, of course, that I like it, or at least the challenge, and want to do another one afterward, which may or may not happen!
5. You don’t know until you tri!
Read more: Redbull.com
For more from Thomas, check out his Triathlife column on Triathlete.com.