The Ironman World Championships is now 2 days away, and last but not least among our Kona Profiles is Sydney Tervort! We encourage everyone to watch coverage of the pro race this Saturday, while also cheering on and tracking our local heroes.
- Name: Sydney Tervort
- Age Group: F6064
- Qualified: Ironman Arizona – Nov. 2016
- Qualifying Place & Time: 1st - 11:52:39
- Splits: Swim 1:22 Bike 5:54 Run 4:25
What’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?
My athletic career started at a very young age with dance and tumbling, then onto gymnastics in Jr high. In high school I did gymnastics and some track. I didn’t compete in college and wasn’t very active, but I started teaching aerobics and running 5k’s and 10k's in the 80’s. I transitioned to marathons in 2000. I have done 27 marathons, including 8 Boston’s, so my background really is running, but I also did a lot of mountain biking. I did Spudman a couple of times with a friend, but I do not have a swimming background, so I never considered doing any other triathlons until I started Computrainer in 2013 with BAM. I was doing the classes as something fun to do to stay fit over the winter, and the next thing I knew I was signed up for the Utah Half. From there I signed up for Vineman 70.3 and enlisted Jen Johnson as my coach. I placed second and loved the experience, so the next step was Ironman Chattanooga in 2015. Since then I have done four more full Ironmans and four more 70.3’s.
Are you a Utah native, or did you move here for work, etc?
I was born in Montana and have also lived in Wyoming and Colorado. I moved to Utah in 1984 for a job.
How would you summarize your experience at Kona last year, and was that your first time or had you been previous years?
Last year, 2016, was my first Kona! This race is hard to describe, it is magical, and intense! With the heat, wind, and lots of climbing, the course is relentless. The group of athletes that compete in this race are incredible, and so fast! I felt a huge sense of accomplishment to just finish it.
How is your mindset different this year vs. last?
It is pretty much the same, I just want to have a good day out there and do the best I can. I might be a little more worried this year than last year because I know more about what the course is like and what I am getting into!
What makes the Kona swim, bike, run, and overall vibe unique from other races?
The mix of very impressive, serious athletes from all over the world adds a lot of high energy and an international feel to the race. The unpredictable weather on the island also plays a role. It’s already a tough course, and factors such as the mass start and the size of the waves on the swim, along with the heat, the wind, (and maybe rain) on the bike and run all add to the challenge.
You finished an extraordinary 4th in the world in your age group, yet 2nd and 3rd weren’t far up the road. Is it true that Gabriele Celette, Rhonda Mareina and Missy Lestrange are on your hit list this year? Any specific goals in mind?
Ha ha! No, I do not have a hit list. Last year was an amazing year and I was blessed to have a good day. I trained for that and followed my race plan and it was still harder than I could have expected. It was great that it all came together. It is a new year, and a list of incredibly fast women have moved into my age group. (Good news though that Missy has moved into the next ag up :-)) I don’t know how I will place amongst them, I am just hoping I can pull together the best race possible on Saturday that I can. I have been fighting a shoulder injury for three months that has affected my training, but we have tried to work around it, so fingers crossed!
|the Top 10 in Sydney's AG last year
If you were to hire someone to “get in the head” or “rough up” your competition, who would your “podium” be among your BAM teammates?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sydney was too classy to respond to this ridiculous question. Our personal choices would be: Skye Moench (accustomed to pro field mind games), Mick Campbell (massive sweating skillz could come in handy) and Sam Hobi (street fighting/ knife fight experience)
How has BAM / coach Jen helped with your progression to where you are today?
Jen is exceptional. Her confidence in me gives me the confidence I need in myself to get to the starting line. I would not be in the sport of Ironman without Wes and Jen. After that first 70.3 at Vineman, Wes has been the one who has persuaded me to sign up for almost every Ironman I have done (excluding Santa Rosa), and Jen works with me to fit my training in with the rest of my life and responsibilities, which is no easy task! I also love training with the athletes in our group.
You won your AG by 30+ minutes at Ironman Arizona, in a dry, desert climate. How will you execute your race differently in the island humidity of the World Championships?
Even though I swallowed the lake water at AZ and had a sick stomach the whole race, it was a cool day, and the bike course is flat and fast so I was able to get by. But Kona is unforgiving. I will definitely have to work harder to stay hydrated and take in more nutrition, along with more electrolytes, and salt. At Kona I also have to be more conscious to conserve energy on the bike so I have enough left to get through the run.
Anything else you want to share?
I can’t think of anything! Just looking forward to what the day will bring