Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Good Run, Good Rum: Interview with Jenna G!

Get to know Jenna Goodrum, a University of Utah PhD student who also happens to be a lightning fast triathlete.

Thanks for the time, Jenna! 

Standard question - what’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?

I grew up doing all sorts of different sports and generally being a pretty active kid but once I got to high school I mostly played softball. I ended up getting into triathlon a little over two years ago here in Utah. I had started running a little bit to stay active when I moved here for graduate school and after an injury, I decided to give triathlon a shot and after that I have pretty much been hooked!

Which of your ancestors were so famous for their good rum, and should we be pronouncing it [good drum] or [good rum]? Wouldn't it make more sense to legally change it to Goodrun??

It is pronounced Good rum and I am probably a little biased but I think it is pretty much the best last name around. Not totally sure where it comes from or if any of my ancestors used to be good at making rum though. Goodrun might be a little more representative of my actual life but Goodrum is more fun and unique!

What races did you do in 2018, and how would you summarize the season? What was the highlight and lowlight of the season?

In 2018 I did the Havasu Triathlon in Lake Havasu, AZ and then Salem, the Sugarhouse Crit, Daybreak, East Canyon, Echo (DNF), Age Group Nationals, Kokopelli, Oktoberfest in Longmont, CO, and then the Aquabike at Pumpkinman in Nevada. I would definitely summarize the season as a growing and learning experience. I ended up getting injured right after East Canyon and basically struggled with running for the rest of the season so I would definitely say that whole experience was the lowlight of the season. The highlight though was definitely seeing how much progress I was making in the pool and on the bike. I had some really disappointing races in 2018 but those experiences have really helped me to appreciate the good races so much more and looking back I definitely wouldn’t change anything about last season.

Nick Dorsett, Jenna, and Mitch Child are all reigning
Championship Belt holders in their AG's

What are you studying at the U, and what can you tell us about the U of U triathlon team?

I am working on my PhD in biochemistry at the U and hopefully I will be graduating within the next year! The tri team at the U is relatively new. It was started a little over a year ago and this past season we had eight people that went to the conference championships in Lake Havasu City, AZ and then six people that went to the Collegiate Club National Championships in Tempe, AZ. The team is a really fun group of people that range from newbies to veterans and everyone is super supportive. So if there are any U students out there who do triathlon or want to get into triathlon, you should check them out! Collegiate races are some of the most fun races I have ever done and I highly recommend it!

Who else is on the team, and do you have formal coaches?

We have a fair number of people on the team. We have the super speedy Nick Dorsett, who is our fearless president and is the one responsible for getting the club started. Our vice president is the always-entertaining Mitch Child, who, FYI, will do almost anything for a Chipotle burrito, and I have been the treasurer for the past year. Nick and I will be graduating so we are handing our positions over to some awesome new officers, Jon Evans and Andrew Elmer. In terms of coaches, this past season we worked closely with BAM. Some of our members have personal coaches but the team had a group training plan. We did group workouts as well, some of which we did at BAM with the BYU tri team which was great because those guys are a lot of fun.

Two years ago you were the 7th female (39th overall) at Ice Breaker. Fast forward two years and you took 1st and 8th respectively, shaving almost 13 min off your time in a blistering 59:34. To what do you credit your huge progress over the years?

The 2017 Icebreaker was my second triathlon ever and my second time on a road bike ever so part of that improvement was probably experience. But a huge part of my improvement has been working with Andrew and Wes at BAM. Andrew has been my coach for the last year and I am starting to see improvements that I couldn’t even dream about seeing a year ago so I owe a lot of my progress to him. I also owe a lot to Wes, who dreams up some seriously tough, but effective, swim sets. In addition to Andrew and Wes, I have had some awesome training partners at BAM and the tri club at the U and you just can’t underestimate the value of good training partners.

What do you like most about racing, and what’s your podium for favorite local races?

My favorite part of racing is the mental clarity I get while doing it and the fact that you get to push yourself as hard as possible. I think my podium for my favorite local races would be Kokopelli, Salem, and Daybreak. Sand Hollow(Kokopelli) is just a really great venue for a race with the clear water and the red sand/rocks. I also love climbing and descending Nemesis. That race is just a lot of fun. Salem is a really fun and interesting course and I love the small town setting. Daybreak is just a solid, well run race and the swim is fun because it is a point to point.

What other races have you done this season and what’s on your schedule looking forward?

I know its only April but I have done 6 races so far in 2019. I started off the season doing two draft legal races in Clermont, Florida on March 2nd and 3rd. Both of those went well and I really surprised myself with how well I managed to do as it was my first legit draft legal experience. After that I went to Lake Havasu City, AZ with the Utah Tri Club for our conference championship race. They ended up canceling the swim and adding a 1 mile run which was disappointing but good as someone who is a better runner than swimmer. I ended up taking second and running a huge mile PR to start the race so I was very happy with how that went.

After that I did Ice Breaker, which was cold, but I was super excited to see how much I have improved in the last two years. And then this past weekend I went down to the USAT Collegiate Club National Championships in Tempe, AZ with the Utah Tri Club where I raced the draft legal race on Friday and took 5th and then raced the non-draft legal Olympic race on Saturday where I took 7th. I was not expecting to crack the top ten in such a competitive field so I still can't stop smiling. Also that race was the most fun race I have ever done. The atmosphere there is insane.

Our team did super well. Nick Dorsett also got top ten in both the draft legal and Olympic race and everyone else on the team had some awesome races. We did pretty great for this being the first time we have sent an actual team to nationals. As far as looking forward, I am not totally sure what I am going to do next. I will definitely do some local races and maybe Age Group Nationals. I am also considering doing a half at some point this year just for fun. I would love to do more draft legal racing but those races are tough to find.

What are your ultimate triathlon goals?

I think my ultimate goal is to compete at the highest level my body is capable of. I love trying to be the best that I can and pushing myself to my limits so I figure I will just keep working hard and see where that takes me!

Jenna, Trinity, and Grace

Who are a few people you most enjoy racing, and can anyone stay with you this year on the local scene?

I haven’t really gotten to race many people here in Utah since I was hurt for most of last season so it is kinda a tough question. Last season I got to race Grace Norman and Trinity Schimbeck a little and that was a lot of fun. They’re both super fast and also great people so racing with them is always a good time. I hope there are some people who can stay with me this year. Racing is way more fun when there are people pushing you!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I guess I want to thank Wes and Andrew at BAM for everything they have done for me and for the Utah Tri Club. I definitely wouldn’t be having the success I am having without them. Also thanks to you for promoting the local racing scene! The tri scene here in Utah is pretty sweet and Utah Tri Buzz is definitely a major contributor!


Below are links to all the races in the 2019 Championship Series:

Below are links to all Challenger Races:

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If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

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