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T100 Triathlon Tour Escapes to Alcatraz

T100 tour heads to San Francisco, an incredible rookie pro, and fueling long bike rides

Good morning everyone,

After a couple of weeks of increased training load here in Arizona I’m starting to feel the accumulated fatigue start to ramp up and the telltale signs are starting to emerge.

  • Bedtime comes a little quicker.

  • I’m starting to get a little grumpier.

  • And the fridge always seems to be empty!

I’ve ignored my body enough over the years and learned the hard way, so instead of my scheduled training yesterday, I took a chill day. My wife and I ended up taking the dog for a good walk, which made us all happy 😃 🐕

In today’s edition: 

  • 🐻 The PTO T100 Tour partners with iconic race.

  • 💭 Lessons from Jessica Cullen, an incredible rookie pro triathlete.

  • 🍌 And how should you fuel for long rides?

Thanks for being here,

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


T100 Triathlon Tour Escapes to Alcatraz


What is it: After a splashy release of the Professional Triathletes Organization’s recently rebranded T100 Triathlon Series, one of the previously unconfirmed locations has been revealed.

California Dreaming: Simply referred to as “California” on the T100 schedule, the race is now confirmed by the PTO and will be held in San Francisco in conjunction with the iconic Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 8-9.

  • The PTO will work with current owners IMG to produce the T100 race.

  • The PTO has confirmed that there will not be a T100 age group race as athletes will continue to compete in the IMG-run Escape race.

Boat jumping: The T100 event will see a similar race footprint to the Escape race with athletes jumping off a boat into the cold and shark-inhabited waters of San Francisco Bay.

  • And, according to neighborhood flyers posted in The Presidio, the bike course could see…a lot of U-turns. 

Tempo’s take: This announcement is a pretty big win for the PTO and their T100 tour. The Escape from Alcatraz triathlon is an event steeped in prestige and history, which the T100 race will instantly benefit.

Although, the industry insiders we’ve spoken to have mentioned that the course for this race may not be exactly iconic... Which is fair — closing the streets of a major city is extremely difficult and expensive.

  • We’ve also heard that the men and women could start within minutes of each other, which like it or not, could have critical impacts on both races.

The announcement also points to a potential T100 land grab in California as the organization controversially helped back the takeover of supertri’s event in Malibu.

  • Is the birthplace of triathlon, San Diego, next?

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Jessica Cullen Goes Pro: How She’s Managing Huge Life Changes and Her Rookie Pro Triathlon Season

Jessica Cullen is a rookie professional triathlete, podcast host at Endurance Icons, and Managing Partner at Regenerative Capital Group. She’s also a previous champion of Ironman Canada and Ironman 70.3 Tremblant. We spoke with her about some mega life changes including a switch to professional racing and leaving her 9-5 job. 

You recently made a huge career change. What was the catalyst for leaving your job to turn pro? 

Going pro and leaving my job lined up a bit serendipitously. I had begun thinking about going pro in late 2022 and spent 2023 training and racing at a higher level to see if I would like it (I loved it!). 

I had found another job opportunity that I took at the same time as taking my pro card which is a lot of exciting change all at once. 

What was the scariest part of making the change?

I think all the scariest moments of any change come more from your thoughts than anything life can throw at you. Because I gave myself a runway to really think it through, I haven’t felt much fear. The triathlon world is just such an incredible world – people have been supportive and welcoming, and I am treating it as an incredible adventure. 

What’s been the biggest surprise of your new lifestyle? 

How much more training I can absorb. For the past few years, I wore heels and went to the office every day. I loved what I did but carried more work stress than I was aware of at the time. Making the change to be in control of when I work, waking up without an alarm, adding training hours and swapping heels for toe spacers means I can increase hours and intensity and recovery quickly. 

What does a dream season look like for you?

I am just in awe of how the sport has grown and levelled up over the past decade. I am honoured to be able to race in this new field and am so excited to grow and learn. Without any experience racing as a pro, my dream season as more to do with my own growth and development than how I place (for now!) My dream season is to do 3 Ironmans and 1-2 half Ironmans and post my best time in all disciplines. I also would like to begin to hone my racing skills and strategy as that element is newer to me but coming from bike racing, I know how much I love it. If I can end the year with personal best times, injury free and having given each race everything I have, that’s a dream season for me. 

  • What her new 9-5 looks like.

  • What her exciting new professional role entails.

  • And her advice for athletes looking to level up!


🦘 Making the jump: How soon is too soon to be jumping from a 70.3 to a full Ironman? Maybe not that long! According to this Reddit thread. [Reddit]

🍌 Fueling the ride: For some, outdoor riding is currently a thing, for others, potentially on the horizon. If you’re wondering how to properly fuel those long rides outdoors here is a great place to start! [GCN]

💪 Sika’s story: Sika Henry is the first black professional female triathlete, and she’s working incredibly hard to ensure she’s not the last. [Mens Health]

🦎 Incredibly adaptable: Is there a part of your training program you’re struggling to manage? There is no doubt you’ll be able to overcome it and “make the overwhelming feel routine,” especially with a bit of extra motivation from this insightful blog. [The Growth Eq]

🤯 Psycho pro: Magnus Ditlev (DEN) is one of the biggest stars of the upcoming PTO T100 Tour. And for good reason, as he has a podium at the Ironman World Championships and won the 2022 PTO US Open. His training is also absolutely insane, which is documented here. Seriously, it is mind-blowing! [Sweat elite]


We don’t always bring triathlon into real-world scenarios…Lol


Rosie rules: Despite having her leg amputated a few years ago, Rosie Tennyson - a mother of five - is training for her first triathlon. [Belfast Telegraph]

Champion to defend: Ironman World Champion Sam Laidlow (FRA) has announced he will try to defend his title this October in Kona. Along the way he’ll make a few stops on the T100 Tour. [TRI247]

Calling all Aussies: If you are an Australian triathlete you may be able to assist in this Deakin University study. [Triathlon Research Initiative]

Game-changing science: Paratriathlete Daryn Williams is using the latest sports science, including heart rate variability tracking, to reach new heights in training. [Herald Wales]


Challenge Wanaka

Women’s race: Els Visser (NED) had an incredibly strong race to take the win. We were also happy to see Tempo subscribers Rebecca Clarke (NZ) and Laura Siddall (GBR) take second and third respectively!

Men’s race: Kyle Smith (NZ) took the wire-to-wire win in Wanaka. Mike Phillips was second and Jack Moody made it a Kiwi podium sweep!


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