Jackson is an elite Age Group athlete that races for Team Every Man Jack. Check out what he has to say about this years race, and why he is racing!
Ironman Texas this weekend! Are you in town already? : No, I actually dont get in until Thursday afternoon so there will be no time to waste. It will be straight from the airport to check-in.
What other races have you done this season to build up to this one? How did they turn out? : So far I have only done Oceanside 70.3 and the results were a mixed bag for sure. I had a great Swim/Bike and came out of T2 in 2nd in my AG only to pull my calf a couple hundred yards into the run. I had been nursing it for a couple weeks before the race and always knew it was going to be a stretch to have a complete race.
Why did you choose IMTX? How does this race play into your goals for the rest of the year? : I have always wanted to do IMTX but have been focusing on 70.3's for the last 3 years. This will mark my first IM since 2012 and a welcome back to full distance racing. Aside from being a great race and the North American Championships the timing of the race played a big factor. It is early enough in the year to be able recover and race a 2nd IM in the same year and not suffer the effects of Ironman hangover. I will fall back into 70.3's for the rest of the summer and then hopefully head into another build near the end of summer.
Tell us a little about your race build up! How has your training been? Do you feel ready to roll?: My race build for IMTX was a bit out of the ordinary and required some creativity by my coach. Coming out of Oceanside unable to run, we spent a lot of time on the bike and in the water. There were many long pool running and elliptical sessions to try and simulate running but it wasn't until a couple weeks ago that I was actually able to start running on the road. Even with that said, the build up to this point has been really really good. I feel like I have done everything in my power to put myself in a position to have a good race and everything is stating to click at just the right time.
Have you ridden the course? Tell us about it if so. How do you feel about the heat?: I have not ridden the course, though I have looked at the maps and elevations very closely. From what I am told and what I can see this course is right up my alley. I tend to do better on a "power" course and this is a prime example of a "power" course. As far as the heat, I feel I can manage it pretty well. I am not the slightest of build but I have a plan for staying cool and making sure I am hydrated coming off the bike to set up a good run.
What's next after this? : After this.......I guess Disneyland!!! In all seriousness, I will take a good week to recover both my body and mind and then start the prep for Vineman in July. We have a family vacation in early June which will be a blast and there are still 4 weddings on the calendar this summer so we have our hands full. It will definitely be a little culture shock when the training volume goes way down and I have all this extra time in my day.
What makes this race different than any other one this year?
IMTX is my "A" race for the year so there is a little added pressure that comes with that but I am most excited to be racing in support of CAF. My team, Team Every Man Jack, is putting together rides around the country this weekend to raise money and awareness for CAF and there is a group of 8 that will be racing IMTX as our charity ride. Our team goal is to raise $25k across the 60+ members and I am just really honored to be a part of it. Click HERE to learn more about the charity ride.
Anything Else readers should know about?
YES! Just want to shout out to Team Every Man Jack, not only the fastest group of guys I have ever raced with but the best smelling one as well. Being on such a fast team motivates me every day to go out push myself. Our success would not be possible with out our fearless leader Ritch Viola and an amazing group of sponsors to include
@everymanjackbrand @rudyprojectna @feltbicycles @guenergylabs @envecomposites @rokasports @louisgarneau @greenlayersports @lululemonmen @purplepatchfitness @patxispizza @bocogear @ntrecovery @themarcpro.
These guys keep us in the latest and greatest gear on the market and take the guess work out of everything we do. All this would not be possible with out an unbelievable support system at home and I can't thank my wife @jacklilly and family for the support as I prepare to tackle IMTX.