Meet The Model: Rachel Barnes

  • By Emily Polachek
  • Published Apr 30, 2013
  • Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM UTC
Rachel Barnes. Photo: Chad Riley

Triathlete magazine’s 2013 swimsuit model, Rachel Barnes, is all about leading an active lifestyle. The professional fitness model from San Diego has worked with Nike, Reebok, Beyond Yoga, Asics and Under Armour, as well as other magazines like Women’s Health.

But strapping on a training parachute to run along the beach for an action shot in Triathlete’s July swimsuit spread was something entirely new to Barnes. “I’ve never done anything like that before,” she says. For our shoot, Barnes modeled swimsuits from Oakley, Zoot, Tyr and Speedo, at La Jolla Cove and a local YMCA popular among triathletes for its outdoor pool. “I really enjoyed working with the photographer, Chad Riley,” she says. And the entire shoot just had a ton of energy.” (Even though the swimming pool showers turned out to be freezing.)

She began her career fit modeling for swimsuits, but has branched out to gigs that aren’t just sport-focused (including Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” music video). However, she enjoys the high energy of sport-related photo shoots and feels that her own athleticism allows her to go beyond her modeling skill sets.

“If I didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be able to physically do the photo shoot,” says Barnes. “For example, when I modeled for Under Armour’s “I Am Beautiful” women’s commercial, they wanted real sweat. They didn’t want the makeup artists coming up to us and spraying us with water, they wanted us to really work, and to have proper technique and form.”

As you can imagine, she stays physically fit, partially due to a regular running regime—something surprisingly uncommon among models, she says. “It’s shocking how many models can’t run. Something you think is as basic as running, isn’t actually that basic.”

Barnes has raced multiple 5 and 10K’s and alternates between spinning, running and doing hot yoga on a weekly basis. One day she hopes to tackle a triathlon. “My agent, Jules, does triathlons and we’re workout buddies,” she says. Lately she has been pushing me to do a triathlon and to go road biking with her. My dad is also a crazy swimming, biking, running guy, so between the two of them, they’ll get me to do one eventually.”

PHOTOS: Behind The Scenes At The Triathlete Swimsuit Shoot

Connect with more than 60,000 of your fellow triathletes. “Like” us on Facebook.


Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter