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

Gaining Confidence

Even with an enviable race record, Joyce is still building the self-belief that she belongs on top.

Joyce: I’ve been told, “You’re never going to run quicker than a 3:10.” So that’s like a red flag to a bull. I’m like, “Oh, I think I can.” I guess I’m very determined. I always like to compare myself to the best people, and that’s what I’m always trying to get to. That’s what motivates me. If they can do it, then I believe I can at least work toward that. [Joyce ran a 3:07:27 marathon in May at Ironman Texas.]

Hedges: She’s incredibly humble. She’s actually had to be reminded a few times that she’s a world champion in the ITU. In Lanzarote, they have the Club La Santa Hall of Fame. They wanted to put her in that, and she was a little bit confused by it. She said, “Well Cat Morrison’s in it, but she’s a world champion.” I said to her, “And you are a world champion!”

Joyce: That confidence is something that I have to really work on. It’s something that I’ve kind of developed, mostly in the last 18 months, because I almost had a complete lack of it. I would almost not believe it before a race, but I had a eureka moment where I thought, “If I don’t believe it, it’s never going to happen.” When it really clicked was after Kona in 2011. I came fourth and I was really close to the podium. And I was pleased with my race, but I hadn’t gone into it thinking I could win. When I was analyzing the race I realized, “If you didn’t think it at the beginning, then your mind-set’s not going to change halfway through the race!” So I approached the next season thinking, “I train as hard as these people. I can win these races.”

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