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Rachel Joyce Overcomes Setbacks To Rise Near The Top Of Ironman

  • By Holly Bennett
  • Published Dec 6, 2013
  • Updated Feb 18, 2014 at 12:15 AM UTC
Photo: Endura Pix | Michael Raushendorfer

Tales Of Talent

Joyce’s peers share their perspectives on her athletic prowess.

Cave: Rachel’s kind of stayed under the radar to where people don’t really consider her a threat, but I totally consider her a threat. I’ve raced against her and I know her strengths are very similar to mine. And I know she’s training her ass off, and she’s on damn good form right now. It puts a fire in my behind to get myself into gear.

Dibens: She’s the most underrated female triathlete out there. She was unfortunate last year going into Kona in that she got sick, because I think she was a legitimate winner on the day. I say that from looking at her race results, and also I got to train with her last year and I got to see how strong she is across the board.

Linsey Corbin (three-time Ironman champion): Rachel and I shared a few days training in Arizona this winter. One day we did a fairly long bike ride — where she dropped me in the warm-up, no joke — and then ran an hour on the track. Rachel was so strong all day on the bike. Once we got onto the track, in my head it was chaotic — stinking-hot-as-blazes out and an hour of intervals looking me in the face. This didn’t even faze Rachel. She put her head down, ticked off her miles like a little metronome, never complained once and was strong start to finish. I didn’t even see her drink water.

Boecherer: One time in Lanzarote there was a long stretch where you could see five to 10 kilometers — just a totally straight road. We were riding in front next to each other, and suddenly my legs started to hurt. I looked at my power meter and my power was steadily increasing from 200 watts to 220, 240. I asked Rachel if she was late for dinner or something! She laughed and said, “I can’t ride straight stretches.” She didn’t like it, so she started to power. And what’s incredible, she pushed like 250 watts for 20 minutes.

Corbin: She’s one of the most level-headed athletes I’ve ever met. In Ironman, one of the keys to success is not being too emotional or reading too much into the high and the low points. Rachel finds her pace, locks it in and doesn’t waver a tad. You can never tell if she is struggling or, on the contrary, feeling amazing. She just turns it over and over and over again.

RELATED: Joyce After Kona Runner-Up

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