Name: Jill Walsh
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in the Rochester area, and then moved to Herkimer County to work for about 15 years. I moved to Jamesville in 2000. I live with my husband Greg and three children; Sullivan, 17, Griffin, 15, Julia, 13 and a dog Maggie, 4.
How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up? I have been a life long runner and in 2003, to celebrate turning 40, I signed up for the Cazenovia Tri. I enjoyed it but had no idea what I was doing, so that was it.
In 2009, I was hiking in Lake Placid with a group of woman friends and we were there Ironman weekend.
Do you know they close all the roads? Well, we walked in to watch…. that was it. I came home told my husband about it and two days later they announced the Syracuse 70.3. He said, “You have to do it. It is in your back yard”. I was probably one of the first to sign up.
What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses? That is a moving target. For years running was my strength, but I have had a few foot/lower leg issues. Now, running is the part I love, but also my biggest challenge. Biking is the area I should really work to improve upon.
If I had the ideal day, I would go for a run then a swim …. Yeah, biking gets left off that list!
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? Caz in 2003. I really didn’t know what I was doing. The night before, I thought I should put air into my tires. I got the pump and it didn’t fit those skinny little tires, so I put the bike in the car and headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods where I bought the bike. The very helpful young man took the bike and put air into both tires. Now it is 8:45 pm, the night before the tri and we hear, “POP, POP”; both tires popped! Dick’s didn’t have any spare tubes. The manager came over and said, “Lets see what fits you”. I picked a blue bike off the shelf (I had a red one) and put that into my car. So the morning of my first tri, I rode a bike I had never ridden before. When I brought the bike back to the store I was told I could keep which ever one I wanted, so I kept the blue one.
What is your favorite race and why? Ironman Lake Placid 2012, because Mike Rielly said ” Jill, you are an Ironman!”
What was your worst race and why? Ironman Lake Placid 2012, because the clock said 16:16:54.
What are this year’s goals? Get selected as a rider for the Challanged Athletes Foundation Millon Dollar Ride. Seven days, 620 miles, San Fansico to San Diego ( I have never been to California).
In five years you hope to … still be able to swim , bike , and run.
Something most people don’t know about you: I am a Tri 3 para triathlete. I have multiple sclerosis and have left sided weakness. I had my bike modified so that both brakes pull with my right hand. I have a brace in plantarflexion to bike with, and another brace in slight dorsiflexion to run with. I also have a more rigid brace to walk with (But there is no walking in triathlon!). I don’t swim with a brace on, so when I come out of the water, I am a bit off balance and need help removing my wetsuit and moving through transition. I am allowed to use a handler – or two – to help me get there.
Yes, I won this!