We are excited to share our second member story with you. Jo is a well known friendly face at Ironman races around the world, with a super impressive race result resume to boot! As well as dominating her age group at Ironman races globally, Jo is one of the most encouraging, kind, and down to earth athletes you'll ever meet. Enjoy the read.

Name: Jo Coombe

Age: 43

Occupation: Part time dairy vet/ researcher/ lecturer/ consultant and full time wife/ carer of my 100kg ‘child’ (husband), Peter

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Nationality: Welsh (no it’s not “part of England”)

Years in triathlon: 13


Tell us a bit about yourself, your story, and what attracted you to the sport of triathlon:

Where do I start? I’m an ex international rugby winger (15 caps for Wales), so a long run was anything over 10 minutes for me! But injuries and life meant I gave up rugby and in an attempt to lose some weight and get fit, I started jogging. Fast forward through the first 2 years (think first 5km fun run, then 10km, mini triathlon, half marathon, local sprint tri series, first Olympic distance). We get to May 2007, and a group of about 8 of us all raced Busselton 70.3 together - for most of us it was our first half Ironman. Now these friends (and us) like to have a few post race beverages, and before we knew it, following a nudie run down Busselton jetty and back, we’d all made a pact to race Ironman Australia 2008! The rest is history, and I won’t bore everyone with the details, but 10 years later, after 10 Ironman's in 8 different countries I am as much in love with the sport as ever! I have been lucky enough to qualify for the holy grail, Hawaii 3 times, and those experiences were so special to me that I got a tattoo to signify each one. I’d better stop qualifying or I’ll run out of skin to tattoo!!! What attracted me to the sport in the first place still holds true today - I love to surprise myself continually with what my body and mind are capable of. I love the travel aspect of racing. And I still get goosebumps when I think of that finisher chute and those words - YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!! Seriously, Wanda should pay me commission!


If you could offer one piece of advice to other triathletes, what would it be?

Consistency is absolutely key in endurance sport. Achieving that consistency can mean you have to cut back sometimes (on volume, intensity or, god forbid your social life). And fueling is another critical aspect of getting that consistency (especially post training)

Why did you choose to be part of the Cartel?

I met Cal in Kona in 2015, having watched (and laughed heartily at) all the Cupcakes with Cal interviews. He gave me a trucker cap, and he was literally my first “selfie with a pro”, which is a bit of a thing I do!! He was chatty and approachable, which is often (but not always) the case with pros in our amazing sport. I went on to meet Alise when I was up in Noosa, and I knew when they formed the Cartel what an awesome job they were going to do. I wasn’t wrong!


If you were a cupcake, what flavour would you be and who would likely eat you?

I go at 100% gas most of the time, so I think I’d be dark choc espresso flavour. Peter would be first in line, but there would have to be some honey or maple syrup added for his sweet tooth!

How has triathlon changed your life for the better?

It’s taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought I was, but it’s also taught me patience, and has brought the most amazing people into my life


This post originally featured on The Cupcake Cartel Facebook page: