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A quick chat with Parcours athlete Grace Thek

It's safe to say that first-year pro Grace Thek has made a massive impression on the professional Ironman 70.3 circuit this season.  After what can only be described as an epic finish in her first pro race at Ironman 70.3 Geelong, Grace has gone on to take her first win at Ironman 70.3 Japan.

We recently handed over the keys to the Parcours Instagram feed to follow Grace in the build-up to Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships, but thought it'd be good to get to know her a little better here.

Grace races on a Parcours Passista/Chrono setup and you can follow along with her racing and training on Instagram (@gt.triathlete)

60 second intro:

How did you first get into racing triathlon?

I come from a running background - I competed at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in 2010 and received a running scholarship where I ran and studied in America for four years. I had grown up swimming and even dabbled in triathlon when I was younger but always had running goals. During my time in America, I had quite a few injuries and realised my body couldn’t handle high loads of running without breaking down. To prevent injury, my coach and I decided to add swim and bike sessions to supplement my running. I really enjoyed the variation of swim/bike/run training. On my return to Australia at the end of 2014, I made the switch to triathlons (training under Patrick Legge) and haven’t looked back since!

Having recently turned pro, how have you found the step up?

While it is my first year racing professionally, it is also my first year competing in long course (70.3) racing. Previously, I had been competing in local sprint or Olympic distance races, and never competed in age group over the 70.3 distance. Therefore, for me I think the step up to the 70.3 racing was the biggest change this year. Since turning pro, I have also started to travel for races which is new and has its challenges but something that I absolutely love!

What do you see as the biggest challenges you face when racing?

Unpredictability of racing! While you can control the controllables, you have to learn to accept the things you can’t change and adapt to the situation (eg. weather, sickness, mechanical). Every race is different and things don’t always go to plan but the key for me is just going out there and doing my best, fighting to the end, and having fun along the way! I believe that challenges are always opportunities for growth, and I make sure I learn from them going forward!

What’s your long term ambition in the sport?

To continue to enjoy the sport of triathlon and challenge myself to be the best I can be on a daily basis!

Career highlights:

Professional

 2018
 Ironman 70.3 Japan 1st
 Ironman 70.3 Geelong 2nd
 Challenge Melbourne
4th
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