Spencer Woolston is an elite age group triathlete who has qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii the past three years. He’s most known for his dominance on the bike, where sources tell me the watts he generates during a 1-hour time trial could power the state of Texas for over 45 minutes. At Ironman St. George this past year, he had the 12th fastest bike split, including pros, despite losing 15 minutes to a flat tire! He followed that up with an even better 8th fastest 3:07 marathon to finish 10th overall.
Being the tri geek that I am, I crunched some numbers for his Ironman performances, showing times, placing, and % rank vs. the field (as in “top 1%”).
What’s your athletic background, and how did you get into triathlon?
My athletic background is football. Football was my life obsession as a kid through my senior season in college. After football I stopped working out and I didn’t do much athletically other than pickup basketball every once in a while till I became a jogger in my late twenties. I never did any running races till the 2008 St. George marathon, and I loved it. I raced in the Clydesdale division and was competitive in that classification (editor’s note: I looked it up, 3:00 flat!). I started thinking after the race that I might be a better cyclist than a runner, so I started looking into Ironman racing. I never swam as a kid and could barely tread water, but I had just watched the summer Olympics and they raved about Michael Phelps size 14 feet and how they helped him (I also have size 14 feet) so I decided to jump into it. I signed up for an Ironman, bought my first bike and started getting swimming lessons.
How would you sum up your 2012 season? What was the highlight/lowlight?
I raced 3 times. Ironman St George was my best race. I had my worst swim ever swimming a 1:18, having swum a 1:04 the previous year (editor’s note: high winds made for really tough conditions). I was really happy with my bike but then disaster struck when I got a flat tire. I ride tubular tires and since I didn’t bring anything with me to fix the flat, I thought my day was over. Thankfully, within just a few minutes bike support happened to drive by and they fixed my flat for me. I only lost 10-15 minutes, so I was very lucky. I was able to have my best Ironman marathon time, going under 3:08 to finish 10th overall. When I factor in the bad swim and the flat tire it was by far my best race yet.