by Karli Thomas May 28, 2024

In the demanding world of Ironman triathlons, the focus often falls on the athletes who push their bodies to the limit. However, behind every great athlete, there is often a dedicated support system that plays a crucial role in their success. For pro Ironman athlete Miguel Maddox, that key supporter is his partner, (and QR Athlete) Jenna Haufler. Jenna, an elite triathlete herself, took on the role of "Sherpa" during the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga event.

In this Quintana Roo exclusive Q&A, Jenna shares her insights on supporting Miguel, balancing her own athletic pursuits, and the little things that make a big difference on race day. Notably, Miguel debuted his race on Quintana Roo's new V-PRi bike and secured an impressive 7th place finish.

Q: For the folks that don’t know - you’re the second half of Freestyle Tri. How does being an elite triathlete yourself influence the way you support Miguel?

A: Being an athlete myself makes it easier to support Miguel because I know exactly what he’s going through before a race, both physically and emotionally. I can foresee the potential issues that he may face leading up to the race much better than someone who has never competed in a sport at a high level. It’s hard to deeply understand the ebbs and flows of being a high-performing athlete, especially one who has faced recent adversity and illness, if you haven’t been there before.


Q: Walk us through what support for Miguel during this race looked like. How does that “support” role change when you’re both racing?

A: Miguel’s a pro, both racing-wise and at the whole race prep process now, so my support was less necessary this race than at some in the past. We were also treated to all-hours bike tech from the ABG mechanics, so there was less bike stress than ever leading up to a race. I assumed the typical roles of a weekend “sherpa” though: I dropped him off at front doors and ran to meet him from the parking spot blocks away; I carried his bags and helped organize gear; I made sure food and drink were easily accessible at any moment; and I tried to be a calming, steady presence anytime things got a little stressful. And uniquely to the two of us, when only one of us is racing, the other becomes the solo film/media crew of the weekend. Our race weekends really mean two stressful jobs for us these days: racing and filming. So to make life easier for the racer, the filming is primarily the job of the person supporting. When we’re both racing, the “support” role (and filming role) sits on both of our shoulders. As with any relationship, Miguel and I know how we can best support each other as athletes during the race weekend, and we’re able to quickly switch out of athlete mode into support mode when the other is in need.

Q: We're curious what stands out to you as the most meaningful ways to maximize the performance of the athlete you're supporting on race day?

A: The best way I can support Miguel leading up to the race is taking any unnecessary stress that I can off his plate and onto my own. Whether that means always having an extra water or bar in my bag so he doesn’t worry about getting hungry or dehydrated, or simply making sure we’re on time to where we need to be, I’m always trying to plan ahead to make the weekend move seamlessly. The little stressors ahead of race day always add up by the time the gun goes off.

Q: What are those little things that you don't want to miss, whether you're supporting or being supported?

A: A recipe for a great race day (as both a supporter and an athlete) requires the following: sunscreen, cheering for all the other athletes on the course, and making sure to eat and drink enough throughout the event (it’s hard work on both sides of the course!).

Q: Miguel had an awesome finish - what are your thoughts? What are you most proud of?

A: We both went into this race with no expectations of his finish place and just grateful that he was able to get to this early-season start line healthy again! Most of all, I’m proud of how he’s dealt with the whole recovery process from surgery in January, especially his positivity and open-mindedness about what this season would bring. And of course, debuting the race on the Quintana Roo V-PRi bike and placing 7th was an incredible achievement!

Q: What’s your favorite part about watching Miguel race?

A: Seeing how much he loves doing this sport, even in the hardest of race conditions.

Q: Does being a spectator stress you out more than when you’re the one actually racing?

A: If I had to pick, I’d almost always choose to be racing over spectating. When you’re racing, you have one job during race day: to race. You’ve practiced and visualized the day throughout the months prior, you have a swim/bike/run course set for you, and you know what you need to do in order to achieve your goals (and of course, are able to react to anything unplanned for that comes your way). When you’re just spectating, it’s almost like you’re in the passenger’s seat but don’t know where the driver is. I spend 90% of the day stressing about how Miguel is doing/feeling in the race, anxiously waiting for the next time check on the app (which are waaayy too few and far between), and sprinting around the course to get any race footage I can for the YouTube video afterwards. It feels like 10 jobs at once.


Q: Do you have any race day rituals?

A: I start every race morning with a big bowl of oatmeal for my race day breakfast–we like to call them Big Day Oats.

Q: Any advice for partners who are in that athlete supporting role?

A: Before race weekend even arrives, ask your partner what you can do to best support them through the race process so you aren’t left panicking once things inevitably get stressful. Every athlete wants or needs something different from a support person, so it’s helpful to talk through how you can be there for them. And on race day, even if you’re at the race to watch just one person, there are hundreds of other people on the course that could use some encouragement. A “You look great!” goes a looonggg way when you’re dying at mile 8 of the run.

Supporting an elite athlete like Miguel Mattox requires a unique blend of empathy, preparedness, and passion. Jenna Haufler exemplifies how a fellow athlete's perspective can provide invaluable support, enhancing both the racing and the recovery experience. Her dedication and insight offer a deeper understanding of the vital role supporters play in the world of competitive sports, proving that behind every successful Ironman, there's often a committed and understanding partner. And with Miguel's strong debut on the Quintana Roo V-PRi bike, this race highlighted not only his resilience but also the seamless teamwork that fuels his performance.

Karli Thomas
Karli Thomas



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Size Chart

QUINTANA ROO BICYCLE SIZE GUIDES

View our size charts to see what size is best for you. After purchasing a new QR bicycle, our team will reach out to you to confirm your order and sizing information to be sure you have selected the optimum size.


V-PR + X-PR SIZE GUIDE

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SELECT YOUR HEIGHT

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    48

  • FRAME SIZE
    48

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    48

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    48

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    48
    OR
    50

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    50

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    50

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    50
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    52

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    52

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    52
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    54

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    54

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    54
    OR
    56

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    54
    OR
    56

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    54
    OR
    56

  • FRAME SIZE
    56
    OR
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    56
    OR
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5



On the border of two sizes?
The right size may depend on certain body measurements and your riding style. Feel free to contact us at any time regarding sizing questions - our product specialists are experienced with finding riders the right fit by cross-referencing your information with our QR Rider Fit database.
Measure for Maximum Performance
If you're not transferring measurements from a similar triathlon specific bike, to get completely "dialed in" for maximum performance, we recommend you see a reputable professional bike fitter that can fit you to your new Quintana Roo.

V-PRi SIZE GUIDE

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V-PRi

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    • FRAME SIZE
      S

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      S

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      S
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      M

    • FRAME SIZE
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      OR
      M

    • FRAME SIZE
      M

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      M
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      L

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      M
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      L

    • FRAME SIZE
      M
      OR
      L

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      L

    • FRAME SIZE
      L

    • FRAME SIZE
      L

    • FRAME SIZE
      L

On the border of two sizes?
The right size may depend on certain body measurements and your riding style. Feel free to contact us at any time regarding sizing questions - our product specialists are experienced with finding riders the right fit by cross-referencing your information with our QR Rider Fit database.
Measure for Maximum Performance
If you're not transferring measurements from a similar triathlon specific bike, to get completely "dialed in" for maximum performance, we recommend you see a reputable professional bike fitter that can fit you to your new Quintana Roo.

PRSERIES SIZE GUIDE

Find your frame sizes for the following bikes

PRsix2 | PRsix | PRfive2 | PRfive | PRfour

SELECT YOUR HEIGHT

  • FRAME SIZE
    48

  • FRAME SIZE
    48

  • FRAME SIZE
    48

  • FRAME SIZE
    48

  • FRAME SIZE
    48
    OR
    50

  • FRAME SIZE
    48
    OR
    50

  • FRAME SIZE
    50

  • FRAME SIZE
    50

  • FRAME SIZE
    50
    OR
    52

  • FRAME SIZE
    52

  • FRAME SIZE
    52
    OR
    54

  • FRAME SIZE
    52
    OR
    54

  • FRAME SIZE
    54
    OR
    56

  • FRAME SIZE
    54
    OR
    56

  • FRAME SIZE
    54
    OR
    56

  • FRAME SIZE
    56
    OR
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    56
    OR
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5

  • FRAME SIZE
    58.5



On the border of two sizes?
The right size may depend on certain body measurements and your riding style. Feel free to contact us at any time regarding sizing questions - our product specialists are experienced with finding riders the right fit by cross-referencing your information with our QR Rider Fit database.
Measure for Maximum Performance
If you're not transferring measurements from a similar triathlon specific bike, to get completely "dialed in" for maximum performance, we recommend you see a reputable professional bike fitter that can fit you to your new Quintana Roo.

SRSERIES SIZE GUIDE

Find your frame sizes for the following bikes

SRsix | SRfive

SELECT YOUR HEIGHT

  • FRAME SIZE
    XS

  • FRAME SIZE
    XS

  • FRAME SIZE
    XS
    OR
    S

  • FRAME SIZE
    XS
    OR
    S

  • FRAME SIZE
    XS
    OR
    S

  • FRAME SIZE
    S

  • FRAME SIZE
    M

  • FRAME SIZE
    M

  • FRAME SIZE
    M

  • FRAME SIZE
    M
    OR
    L

  • FRAME SIZE
    M
    OR
    L

  • FRAME SIZE
    L

  • FRAME SIZE
    L
    OR
    XL

  • FRAME SIZE
    XL

  • FRAME SIZE
    XL

  • FRAME SIZE
    XL

  • FRAME SIZE
    XL

On the border of two sizes?
The right size may depend on certain body measurements and your riding style. Feel free to contact us at any time regarding sizing questions - our product specialists are experienced with finding riders the right fit by cross-referencing your information with our QR Rider Fit database.
Measure for Maximum Performance
If you're not transferring measurements from a similar triathlon specific bike, to get completely "dialed in" for maximum performance, we recommend you see a reputable professional bike fitter that can fit you to your new Quintana Roo.