Saturday, December 5, 2020

In the Mix! Interview with Gillian Micoli

Gillian Micoli is a relative newcomer to Utah, having moved here from New York a couple years ago, and is a force to be reckoned with on the local scene. She's been on our interview hit list for a while now, so we're glad to finally catch up with her.  Thanks for the time, Gillian!

Also make sure to scroll down to see prelim info on the Utah Triathlon Championship Series... let's come back strong in 2021!

Standard question: what’s your athletic background and how did you first get into triathlon? When was your first race?

I was a swimmer since age 9. My swim team did a triathlon for a few years in the fall. So my first tri was when I was ten. It consisted of 2 loops around a track, a loop around the neighborhood on my banana seat bike, and then a 500-yard swim.

There is a picture of me running with my cap on my head that is floating somewhere out there…you know, fast transitions.

found it!  aero and fast!

What brought you to Utah and what do you think of the place? How long have you lived here now?

I was recruited by Qualtrics to move out here. My first stop was Provo, so that I could be 0.5 mile from the office. I have since moved up to Draper and have been here about 18 months. Utah is absolutely gorgeous, and I love exploring new areas. I love the proximity to the mountains and how accessible good riding is here.

How would you compare/contrast the Utah tri scene to other places you’ve lived?

I have lived the majority of my life in upstate NY, and there are commonalities, as well as a lot of differences. Back in NY, I did a lot of my training by myself. I knew other triathletes, but there were very few sessions that I was able or willing to coordinate my training with.

The weather is a lot different here, the summers are hotter and there is less snow in the winter. Overall, I find myself outside a lot more here versus there.

There is nothing worse than a stormy Saturday that caused you to be indoor for a 4+ hour ride….and that happened a lot. However, OWS [open water swimming] was better back in NY. The area I lived was in the Finger Lakes, there were several pristine places that were safe and warmer than here. I also lived in SF, NYC, and Italy for a while….but I was a broke 20-something and never trained for triathlon while living there.

Have you felt welcomed by the local tri community and how have they helped with your continued progress?

My first race was the Utah Half. It was such a strange experience showing up to a race and not knowing a single person. It was a terribly cold day, and a great moment when I saw my Team Zoot and first tri-friend here, Mel Stratton, on the course. It was not until I met Andrew (Stasinos) that I really got involved with BAM/Intermountain. That has opened the door to meet so many people, both involved with BAM, as well as SLTC.

It has been great to meet athletes from all over the world, as well as have a small group to train with through the last year. We created a “quaranteam” to make sure we were being safe, while also staying sane.

My training became more structured and the volume increased under the guidance of Jess Perry last year. I gained a great deal of confidence, strength, and maybe some speed working with Jess, as well as Andrew and Wes Johnson.

Of the three disciplines, what’s your biggest strength and your relative “weakness”?

My swim has historically been my strength and my bike my weakness. I’m working on continuing to even that out and become a more well-rounded athlete.

We know you were the first female age grouper at the Bear Lake Brawl half, which is awesome! What did you think of that race, and were you able to do any other racing this season?

Yes, I like to say that I survived my way to 1st amateur! Haha. I thought it was amazing to see the pro field that came to that race. Bear Lake is beautiful, and I think I appreciated it more because it was my first time going there. The weather was probably the most challenging that I have faced in a race and I'm honestly so thankful that my bike did not fly off the road!

Gillian & 2018 State Champ Tracy Campbell
  at the Bear Lake Brawl 2020

That was my only tri this year, but I did a few road races, the Provo Haunted 5K and the Thankful 13.

Assuming racing with precautions can take place more consistently next year, what are your race plans and goals for 2021?

Right now, I am registered for Oceanside 70.3, St. George 70.3, and IM Coeur d’Alene.

Is St. George 70.3 Worlds on the tentative schedule?? What do you think it will take to qualify in your age group?

Yes, Worlds is on my radar. I competed in the WC in Chattanooga and actually qualified for the first time at St. George 70.3 back in 2017.

Qualifying will be tough for sure. And it all depends who shows up and how many slots your AG gets. With a larger pool of slots being given at SG, I think it will have an even larger pull to do the race. It will be fun to see how it all shakes out and who shows up to preview the course.

What local races have you heard the most about, and are you familiar with the Utah Triathlon Championship Series?

I have heard great things about Echo and Jordanelle. I am somewhat familiar with the Series. Depending on how things end up for next year, I think it would be great to be in the mix if my schedule allows.

*****Still preliminary, but below is what we know so far! More races may be added, and we'll update as we learn more. Check out this post if you need a refresher on how it all works. Thank you Trent Perry for being the title sponsor of the UTCS!*****




Sadly the 2020 Series Championship couldn't get off the ground, but have no fear!  We'll come back with a vengeance in 2021.

Thinking about Lasik or have other eye health needs?
Dr. Brice Williams is offering some incredible
deals for fellow Utah Tri Buzz readers

Local triathlete Steve Monson has a stellar reputation
as one of Utah's finest financial advisors

We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 3 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

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!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.



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