Road to Kona: Heather Jackson

 Heather Jackson competes in Ironman Boulder. Photo Credit: Wattie Ink

If you were paying attention to Kona last year, you saw Heather Jackson’s podium selfie – the three fastest female triathletes in the world framed in green leaves, grinning for HJ’s GoPro, made for some serious Twitter fodder. After taking third, and breaking a 10 year dry spell for American women on the podium (the last American female podiumed in 2006), Heather Jackson is coming back leaner and faster than ever before. Now that she’s had a taste of Kona victory, she won’t quit until she stands on the top step.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up, I always wanted to be an FBI or CIA agent. I think it was a combination of loving the show the X-Files, other spy/action/adventure movies, and wanting to travel and catch bad guys. Haha.


What is on your mind as you prepare for Kona?

Oh man….Kona is what is on my mind. It’s all I think about. I guess it’s more just a constant 24/7 questioning in my head: “Is this everything I can be doing? Is this going to get me to the start line as prepared as I can be?”


What are three of your travel essentials?

I bring 3 pillows with me every trip we go on. I also have to bring my little mini Bluetooth speaker to play white noise through in order for me to fall asleep at night (and also block out noise from a possibly loud hotel). I also bring my MarcPro and two Triggerpoint balls on any and every trip- I’m constantly stretching or hitting different muscles with the TP balls, or just trying to keep the blood flow moving with the MarcPro.


What do you see as your biggest strength going into Kona?

I think my biggest strength going into Kona is just my ability to dig deep and leave everything out there on those big Championship race days.


What was the last gift you gave someone?

This is totally not even made up!!!! I just sent my sister Biffster a pair of the Rudy Project Astroloop casual sunnies because she was here over the 4th of July and LOVED them, as I was wearing them every day.


What makes Kona different from any other race?

Kona is the World Championships- it’s the one race that the best of the best spend their season trying to qualify for and then get the absolute most they can get out of themselves on that day in the entire year. For long distance triathletes, this is the biggest race of the year and so there are no more excuses, practice races, etc. No more excuses come this race….just a matter of: are you the best in the world?


What is your favorite Rudy Project piece of equipment?

I am currently loving the Astroloop casuals, but I might have to say the Tralyx since those are the ones I do all of my training and racing in. Unless I don’t feel like putting in my contacts, then I love my prescription Spinhawks!!!


What do you love about the triathlon community?

I love how everyone is so supportive of each other in the pursuit to get fitter and faster. Everyone is essentially doing similar training/racing, just at different relative speeds, and so the whole community relates to each other and supports one another. Wattie and I have met so many kind, supportive people that have now become lifelong friends whether I was still racing triathlons or not.


What would make this a perfect season for you?

I am so happy with how my season has progressed from January heading towards October. It’s been a steady, patient build and I would view it as a perfect season if I can just put together a solid day of swim, bike, run on October 14th that I can walk away from knowing I prepared as best I could and left everything I had on the day out there.


How do you like to spend a day off?

I like to take a lot of epsom salt baths and binge watch Netflix shows. I sleep a lot :) Days off during the season are pretty much that- I don’t do much of anything. Off season is a different matter :)

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