Jacqueline Thistleton: her five years of triathlon triumphs

WE TALK to Jacqueline Thistleton about her triathlon triumphs over her first five years of competing in the sport.


Jacqueline Thistleton started out in the sport of triathlon in 2012.

COMING from a sporting background it wasn’t actually until 2012 that Jacqueline Thistleton got the urge to try triathlon. As soon as she started she instantly caught the bug and over her five years of competing has racked up some extremely impressive finishes and results.


The Australian  has dominated her age group in both Olympic and 70.3 Ironman distances, while continuing to work full time as a pharmacist. Here she answers our questions on her remarkable triathlon successes and the countries and places the sport has taken her to date.


For more about Jacqueline and to visit her blog visit www.jacquelinethistleton.com.


When did you start out in triathlon and who or what inspired you to give the sport a try?


I started out in triathlon in 2012 and it was my background in surf lifesaving that ignited the spark again to compete in a multi-disciplinary sport. I got asked to do the swim leg in a couple of triathlons in 2011 and then in 2012 I decided to give it all ago and the rest is history.


surf lifesaving

Jacqueline came from a background in surf lifesaving which she believes gave her a head start in her triathlon career.

What were some of your earliest triathlon triumphs?


My first attempt at a long course race in 2013 – Hell of the West in Goondiwindi, QLD – was when I knew I just loved this distance and longer. I took second overall in that race and then in a month’s time I competed in Mooloolaba Triathlon and won my age group in 2013 and 2014.


Following on from there I raced in my first 70.3 Ironman in beautiful Cairns and had a top ten overall performance including the professionals.


There was a lot of talk when I first started the sport that I should take my professional licence and how good I would be. However, I didn’t think I had paid the sport the respect it deserved if I just took my professional licence in the first year or two of racing.



To find out more about Jacqueline and to follow her blog visit www.jacquelinethistleton.com.

What do you see as your biggest overall achievements in the sport?


My biggest overall achievement would be the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2016. I won my age group and also was the first age grouper over the line. From here I took my professional licence and have been racing as in the professional field since late 2016.


Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of the highlights?


The sport has taken me to some amazing locations! Prior to taking my professional licence I stayed very local here in Australia. In my first year as a professional I have travelled to China twice, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Some of the highlight were the Beijing International triathlon – it was an olympic distance race – but one i would highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique and challenging race in one of the best locations!


Next would be Cebu in the Philippines. The atmosphere and energy was amazing and I am so excited Cebu will host the Asia-Pacific Championships in 2018 because it will be an electrifying atmosphere! I can honestly say I have never seen that much colour and never heard that much noise and cheering than when I jumped on the bike in Cebu. It still gives me goosebumps.



Jacqueline pictured at the finish line of the JT2 triathlon.

At which discipline of triathlon do you excel at and at which do you have to work the hardest?


I believe I excel at swimming, however this is something that I have had to work on because I had rested on my ability too much in age group racing and only trained twice a week in this discipline. So I have been since working hard to get the true gains I deserve from the start of the race.


How hard are you currently training and what events and races do you have coming up in the months ahead?


I have had an unfortunate few months since a bike crash during the Cebu race and are still trying to get healthy and back to full fitness again. In the next coming months I currently don’t have any races planned, however am now looking forward to the 2018 calendar and being back better than ever.

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