After four years as a professional track and field athlete, Chelsea Sodaro began her triathlon career at the age of 28. Starting out with ITU draft-legal racing, Chelsea found her love for triathlon but not necessarily her end game. Chasing a long time dream of becoming an Olympian continued to fuel her but also a calling to long-course triathlon began to build.
While racing short-course, Chelsea lived in San Diego and her husband remained at their home in the Bay Area. The separation was starting to weigh on Chelsea but she still had goals to achieve. In June of this year, she did just that when she won the Huatulco ITU World Cup. Crossing the finish line in first place was something she dreamed about but when she opened her eyes, it was glaringly obvious that her husband wasn’t there and she was ready for a change.
She knew that racing long course would allow her more freedom to train while living at home. She would also be relieved of the demanding travel and racing schedule of ITU. She made the switch and became a PurplePatch athlete under the guidance of Matt Dixon. Less than three months later, she was on the start line at Ironman 70.3 Waco. A day that would make her rookie status shine brightly. Her nutrition was a fail, she received a penalty on the bike and fell apart in the first part of the run. Her longest running race leading into Waco was a 15k. Much about Chelsea’s day in Waco was a date with the unknown but, as all long-course athletes know, when you’re covering that distance anything can turn around. In the second half of 13.1-mile run, Chelsea ran herself from 11th position down to 3rd and held on to a third place podium at her first ever 70.3 triathlon.
She admits that she learned a lot that day and knows that with every race she will leave with takeaways for growth. She walked away with her lessons and got back to work in prep for her season closer, the inaugural IM 70.3 Indian Wells.
A picture perfect day shined down on the more than 2,000 athletes that race morning. Cold water temperatures were the topic on hand but Chelsea was unaffected. Coming out of the water in 3rd place put her in perfect position to be relevant from the start of the pancake flat bike. Bringing that famous ITU speed, Chelsea put down the second fastest bike split in the female pro field and the fastest run split getting her the overall win.
A big part of Chelsea’s purpose in life is to see what she is capable of and being that she is a fiercely competitive athlete, I’m sure that she will continue to pave her path with tenacity. She’s not afraid to jump into the unknown or be flexible with her vision and that is why we’re sure that we’ll be seeing more greatness from this athlete in the future.
We are grateful to Chelsea for opening up about her win at Indian Wells today and for all of you who make this listener supported podcast possible. Keep tuning in, keep sharing the show with your community and please leave a review on iTunes.
Episode 137 Show Notes:
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