Retirement Announcement

It comes with great emotion to publicly announce my retirement from professional triathlon racing. I made the decision during the Island House Triathlon in Nassau late last year. As I crossed the finish line, I was a groveling mess for I knew this would be the last time. Clearly distressed, I felt it was necessary to inform the race organizers and fellow athletes who were very respectful of my decision.

I’ve had a long career as a professional female triathlete. Now that I can sit back and reflect on my achievements, I appreciate all the opportunities I had and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way: family, friends, sponsors, fans, and spectators. I should also make a special note to thank the ITU, IRONMAN and the British Triathlon Organization for all your support over the years. I am beyond blessed to be walking away from a career in this sport I love so much with 4 World Titles. Now I’ve had the time and energy to think, I realize how lucky I am. Most athletes strive to make that happen once. Some athletes get so close but fall short. While I was racing and training day in and day out, I never really appreciated these epic moments that shaped me.

If you are asking why I choose to retire now, the answer is simple: it’s time. During my 18-year racing career, I have had a lot of success and equally as many failures. However, this 40-year-old body can no longer do what it found so easy in its 20’s and early 30’s. For some, this would be no reason to stop. For me, I was left with no choice. The need to achieve great things is part of my DNA and as this slowly slipped away, so did my love for the sport. It became a chore to train, and I found it harder and harder to motivate myself to race. I know my body so well. I know what it feels like to be in the sort of shape to win big. I couldn’t get there anymore, so the enjoyment was gone. I still want to achieve big and I am going to make that happen in a different way.

As an athlete, I’ve always expressed that our bodies have a use by date for optimal performance. I could feel that date looming a couple of years ago when I physically struggled to be competitive with my rivals despite training as hard as I have ever done. So I put my exit strategy in place and began to build my coaching company and grow Team LC with my manager, Lou Cantin. Both have been highly successful. Now I have expanded into public speaking, writing a book, and product testing/design in conjunction with my sponsors: Santini, KASK, and Salming. I’m also thrilled to be part the Ventum bike brand alongside my other half, Diaa Nour. I am currently test riding their new road bike as well as collaborating with the design team of the Ventum One to improve what is already an outstanding triathlon bike.

As a final note, for those young female triathletes out there who may feel there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up. Remember, I was there too. Triathlon has shaped me into a strong, independent woman and I believe this sport can help so many, young and old.

2018-05-17T11:18:14-05:00May 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Reece Robinson May 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    One the one hand bummer Leanda, I so much enjoyed watching/reading about your racing. On the other hand good for you and good luck on the next stage of your life. I will never forget your Kona victory, being chased down by Rinny, everyone thinking Rinny’s going to pass on by and you’ll finish 2nd or 3rd or whatever. But your answer was NO, NOT TODAY and you kept up the pace and eventually pulled away. You did the double that year (70.3 and 140.6) which is quite extraordinary. I’m glad I got to shake your hand and chat for a few minutes (USAT Nationals in Omaha I think). Best of luck Leanda and maybe we’ll meet again someday.

  2. Amy Stone May 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I can’t imagine how tough this announcement/life change must be. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do next.

  3. Joao Fragoso May 17, 2018 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Good luck to the new era in your live.
    Thanks for all you give us

  4. Linda May 17, 2018 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Leanda: I hope you will feel as happy and blessed as a retired athlete as you are a professional triathlete! Either way you’re an exceptional woman- a mentor, role model, and an overall badass 🙂 I know you’ll find joy and purpose in your new found retirement!!

  5. Ian Scarrott May 17, 2018 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Well done Leanda, a brilliant career and exciting adventures afoot it looks like you have a lot of support in place to transition which some athletes do not. Switch The Play run by Leicester Tigers Leon Lloyd, Beth Tweddle & Co. supports athletes in transition so if you ever need it hit them up. https://switchtheplay.com/

    Looking forward to seeing the coaching business, Ventum bike brand and new book develop as well as the various other ventures, always important to have those goals in whatever sphere of life congrats again champ! The Kona victory was a particular highlight to watch. Incredible!

  6. Peter Williams May 17, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Congrats and best wishes for the future from a fellow welsh person/amateur ironman who drew you, remember.

    I’ll draw you now and post on my facebook, will notify you. If we ever cross paths the originals will be yours.

    What’s next, coaching?

    Peter

  7. Mike Canning May 17, 2018 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    All the best Leanda. British Triathlon is in a better place because of your efforts over the years. Thank you for hard work & I hope all goes well with your business interests.

  8. Barbara Sujansky May 17, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Congrats on a great career and best of luck in your future endeavors!

  9. Sarah Parks May 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Such a great career!! So glad I got to meet you last year in Minneapolis at the YWCA women’s triathlon. The sport will miss you and I am sure you will go on to do wonderful things!!

  10. Ken Maclaren May 17, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    You’ve had a great athletic innings Leander and been an inspiration to many. Enjoy the next part of your life, there ‘s lots of fun to be had at every age. All the best

  11. Chris May 17, 2018 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    As a fan we always think of you as immortal, untouchable and unaffected by time. Loved watching you race and gutted, but understand your decision to retire from proffesional racing, doesn’t mean you stop racing though ;-). I strive to race like you, I don’t care about your gender I loved your grit and style … that’s what mattered to me. The race has lost a star, a triathlon and ironman legend has now crossed a different finish line. We’ll miss you :,(

  12. Neil Isaacson May 17, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Well done on a great career, watched you from the triathlon in Israel when you came out with the charity Kisharon. Your a star. Pleasure to have met you.

  13. Kathy Bohlman May 17, 2018 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for being a inspiration

  14. Eric Koenigs May 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on an incredible career. There is no doubt, you are amongst the greatest our sport has ever seen. I look forward to seeing you coach the next generation of world class triathletes.

  15. Jeff Kerr May 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Best of luck with your new venture(s). You’ve been an inspiration to me and many others.

    Best regards,
    Jeff Kerr

  16. David Daffey May 17, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    On to the next adventure Leanda. Thanks for all those great races you provided over a long and successful career. See you around on the Big Island albeit not on the course so to speak.

  17. Brad May 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Congratulations 🎉 on a great career, it is sad to see you go but happy to see you grow!

  18. Lindzi nader May 17, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    What an amazing athlete !!

  19. Tania Nuschese May 17, 2018 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    We love you, Leanda! Thanks for inspiring!

  20. James May 18, 2018 at 12:11 am - Reply

    It was a pleasure to watch you race and see your determination each and every time you raced. You were and still are an inspiration to many aspiring triathletes of all levels across the world but especially in FNQ and the UK. Good luck with your new career. I’m sure your new direction will be as successful or even better than your racing one was.

  21. Tine Deckers May 18, 2018 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Hey Leanda, all the best in your further life, I hope I’ll see you at one of the races. I get 40 to and I will do my last Hawaii this year.
    Best regards
    Tine Deckers

  22. Chris Kircher May 18, 2018 at 1:23 am - Reply

    You have won world championships at every distance. You have no equal. Good luck in your future.

  23. Peter Downing May 18, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Enjoy your time with family eat drink and be happy

  24. Rebecca Schubert May 18, 2018 at 6:40 am - Reply

    Great plan you have in place for your future. Although I have been mostly off the radar for the most of the second half of your career, it’s been great to check in now and then to see how you are going. Thanks for the fun times in the early days and all the best for your new direction. You always have a place to on the Sunny Coast should you ever be tempted to race Mooloolaba again 😉 Congratulations Big Bird xx

  25. Manrique Alonso May 18, 2018 at 7:03 am - Reply

    I met you at a South Beach Triathlon where you signed my race bib for luck.

    I’m a back of the pack age grouper, but I recalled that brief encounter many times while training for my first Ironman.

    You are an inspiration to triathletes everywhere. Thank you!

  26. Ricky Liversidge May 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear the news but so happy you are in a great go forward position mentally and physically. I’ve followed you for many years and have enjoyed your many achievements. Life is many journeys and you have plenty ahead of you to chase. For me i’m heading back to the UK on my next adventure. Stay in touch and may be we can meet up in the UK sometime. BTW the house in Santa Cruz has been sold.

    Best. Ricky Liversidge (a supporter)

  27. Enrial Enriquez May 18, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    We love you Leanda! Best wishes always in all your endeavors!

  28. Alec Riddle May 19, 2018 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Wishing you all the best Leanda. I was one of many, together with my then 12yo son Jamie, met you in Kansas na 2012 (via my good friend Kyle Buckingham). The ride with the two of you and Chris Lieto was special for me, but you helped inspire that young boy, who is now so passionate about Triathlon. Small moment, Big impact. I’m sure I speak on behalf of many when I say thanks for pausing and being generous with your time & wisdom. You have passed the Baton onto so many and Jamie is one example of someone who has picked up that baton and is racing into the future. All the very best to you for the ‘second half’ of life!

  29. Nicholas Welch May 19, 2018 at 2:48 am - Reply

    So glad to have met you at Miami 70.3 2014. I wish you all the very best for the future xx

  30. Wesley Ng-A-Fook May 19, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Congratulations Leanda, the rest is well earned. From all of us you’ve inspired, thanks for everything you’ve done for the sport. Hope to see you prowling around Miami soon!

  31. Karen Sissons May 20, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Oh Leanda, you will be missed, especially your smile. I have enjoyed watching you. I follow both Team LC and your foundation, you are amazing. Enjoy the day! Travel and remember to smell the flowers.

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