It has to be a record. It hasto be.
There’s no reason for Jocelyn McCauley to believe otherwise… especially considering it was the Queen of Kona—Paula Newby Fraser—an official with Ironman’s World Triathlon Corporation—that dropped the factoid on her.
“I just talked to Paula, and she said she thinks I’m the only pro to ever qualify for Ironman 70.3 Worlds and the Hawaii Ironman World Championships within the same week.”
It’s a heck of a distinction that will be hard to replicate—if it’s ever achieved again at all. McCauley scored a result at Ironman 70.3 Boulder on August 6 that earned her a start at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah. It was a good get, but really, she was looking through the race toward the next weekend, a full continent away: Ironman European Championships in Kuopio-Tahko, Finland.
There, she notched a brilliant second-place result on August 13. Just seven days apart, McCauley punched her ticket to two Ironman world championship events.
That result helped McCauley secure a late addition to one of the most hotly-anticipated races of the year: the Collins Cup. We explain Quintana Roo’s sizable Collins Cup contingent here within which McCauley is a member, but as McCauley told us as she awaited her family to join her in Samorin, Slovakia for the race, she's thrilled to partake in what is purported to be one of the biggest races of 2021.
Being selected to Team USA for the Collins Cup is a deserved cherry in a fall that has been, to put it bluntly, a comedy of errors. Anything that happens in Samorin will be gravy. Especially after the chaos that began with an innocent kayak trip with her daughter Emi on the Boulder Reservoir. While the Boulder 70.3 performance was somewhat average in her eyes, it was everything that happened after it that put her on roller coaster… with the seat belt sorta loose.
“I came out of Boulder knowing I didn’t really show my fitness, and I was frustrated with it. But hey—I qualified for 70.3 Worlds, and I had my ticket to Finland booked already. So wanted to have a fun day with Emi… and I never even heard my phone drop into the water. As anyone who has dropped their phone or outright lost it, the first feeling is panic. “I tried the “find my phone” and the last place it was tracked was on the shore, as we got in.”
With all her credit cards attached to the phone’s wallet, it compounded things. “I knew I had this big trip to Finland planned and knew I needed that phone and all those cards, so I called my husband after the race and started crying,” she recalls. “He said, ok, let’s talk through it.”
She was ultimately able to make her overseas trip happen, but not without challenges. “I had no credit cards and Scott gave me his, so luckily nobody checked the name on it. Then the train to the town in Finland was late. I tried to catch a bus I didn’t have cash to pay for bus fare… so I asked people on the bus if they could help pay my fare. Then realized I left my roller bag on the train, and that was gone. All I could do at that point is just laugh.”
She ultimately got the roller bag back, and with the runner-up finish in one of the biggest Ironman races of the year and an invite to Collins Cup, she was finally seeing the high that the roller coaster promised. “Racing well in Finland and getting the message from the Collins Cup people after the race with the invite, it made it all ok. All these crazy things happened, but everything is ok.”
This weekend, McCauley joins a strong American contingent as they take on Europe’s best and the Rest of World’s best in a wild new format.
“This weekend is gonna be so exciting—it’s the Olympic triathlon on steroids!” she says with a laugh. “There were a few people saying “aw, why didn’t this woman or that woman go ahead of her, but y’know, I’d like to think I’m among the best of the best, honestly. I’ve put Daniela (Ryf) on the line. I feel like I’m supposed to be there. “
And the recent news of the Hawaii Ironman being pushed to February due to high Covid numbers? McCauley takes it in stride.
“I’m actually excited it’s going to be in February,” she says. “My run isn’t 100 percent where I want it to be, so It gives me a little more time to prepare. Plus, I’ve done Ironman New Zealand and have trained through the winter, so I’m looking at it as being a benefit.”
And this weekend in Samorin? With her husband, and two kids present for the race, she’s set to go… hopefully with a fresh set of credit cards and a new iPhone.
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