By Don McCormick, TriMuskoka Triathlon Club
Huntsville TriMuskoka triathlete and triathlon coach Jess Adam put an exclamation point on the final race of the season for local triathletes with a second place finish in her age group (45-49) at the Ironman 70.3 North Carolina on October 19, 2019.
Adam, who moved to Huntsville—husband Sean Adam’s hometown—just three years ago, has been a force for triathlon in the community, running coaching sessions for the TriMuskoka Triathlon Club, providing personal coaching for about a half dozen local triathletes, and being a constant presence at group training events.
Adam has been competing in triathlon for about 25 years.
“In the early years the most common distances for triathlon were Sprint (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) and Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run),” explains Adam. “The ITU Triathlon World Championships were Olympic distance and were the premier triathlon event.”
Adam qualified for the Canadian team on three occasions and competed in the World Triathlon Championships (WTC) in Edmonton, Cancun and Vancouver. She was national champion in her age group (30-34) the year she competed in Edmonton. Her best showing in the WTC was a sixth place finish and a personal best (2:11) in Vancouver.
Following that, Adam moved to half Ironman (1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run) and full Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42km run) distance races. “In my first half Ironman I finished in under five hours and stood second overall,” says Adam. “I competed in Ironman Canada in Penticton as well that year.”
The Adams had been living in Vancouver up to this point. Many of Canada’s top triathletes and coaches trained in Victoria and that inspired Jess to become a triathlon coach. “I was mentored by some of Canada’s leading coaches and took courses in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and Ironman University and became associated with Lifesport Coaching,” says Adam. “I have been coaching for about 12 years.”
They moved to Toronto, started a family and Jess took almost seven years off from triathlon.
In 2016, the Adams moved to Huntsville and, in this ideal triathlon setting, Jess’ enthusiasm for the sport was renewed.
She has done the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 each of the last three years. This year’s 2019 event proved particularly challenging. “I knew the course and I knew it was going to be hard,” says Adam. “The hills [on the run]knocked the wind out of my legs. As soon as I got to the top of that hill [Gun Club Road] that’s when I started to lose it—my legs just didn’t want to go on any more. I kept running and I just willed myself along.” Adam had been leading her age group up to this point but ultimately finished in third place.
All of which brings us to the reasons for doing a race in North Carolina. “I wanted something different, I wanted to do a race in the States, in the fall and something flat,” explains Adam. “My overall goal was to go under five hours and I did 5:02:30 on a bike course that was 2.5-km too long,” says Adam. “Overall, I was happy with my effort and my performance in the race.”
It somehow seems fitting that it was Jess Adam who put this triathlon season to bed and in style.
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