Ellie Salthouse: Background, career highlights, quotes

Ellie Salthouse is never far from a middle-distance podium, but things haven't always gone her way. Here, we take a look back at her triathlon story so far...

Ellie Salthouse holds the finish tape aloft after winning Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Ellie Salthouse has been racing triathlon for over 12 years, but it wasn’t until she made the switch to middle-distance that things started to click.

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She’s now one of the most consistent athletes on the 70.3 circuit and can regularly be found on a podium. Here, we take a look back at her triathlon journey so far…

Who is Ellie Salthouse?

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Ellie Salthouse grew up in an environment where she was encouraged to try her hand at a broad range of sports. Having an older brother helped, as she wanted to do “anything to keep up with him”.

She turned to cross-country running at the age of 11 and proved to be a natural, but then she saw an advert for a kids triathlon on the back of a cereal box and her head was turned.

Salthouse quickly fell in love with the sport and decided it was what she wanted to do as a career. She turned pro at just 17 years old and started to focus on building a short-course racing career once she graduated school in 2010.

She raced this distance for five years, taking part in ITU’s continental and world cups and taking a six-month break midway through that period, but never really made a real breakthrough.

With help and advice from her coach Siri Lindley, the Aussie made the decision to switch to middle-distance racing in 2015 and see how she fared.

The following year she truly found her calling, winning five races and making the podium of two others. Ever since, Salthouse has been an ever-present on the middle-distance circuit and regularly takes the top step of the podium, but she’s yet to make a big splash at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs.

Over the years, Salthouse also seems to have developed a bit of a rivalry with Brit Holly Lawrence. How much of it is embellishment by the media (and the PTO) we’re not sure, but it seems to stem from an incident at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Champs. You can read more about this ‘beef’ below.

How old is Ellie Salthouse?

Ellie Salthouse was born on 9 March 1993, making her 30 years old.

Ellie Salthouse’s career highlights

Ellie Salthouse poses with her silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games
Ellie Salthouse poses with the silver medal she won in the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 (Credit: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

August 2010: Taste of success at the Youth Olympic Games

Salthouse graduated from school in 2010 and subsequently focused on her short course triathlon career for the next few years.

By her own admission, her biggest success during that time on the ITU circuit was the silver medal she won at the Youth Olympic Games.

January 2016: A successful switch to middle distance

After making the decision to switch to middle-distance racing at the end of 2015, Salthouse lines up on the start line of Challenge Melbourne and takes her maiden win.

November 2016: Finishes the year with a bang

Triathlete Ellie Salthouse pours beer over herself after winning Challenge Shepperton
After taking her fourth win of the season at Challenge Shepparton Ellie Salthouse pours beer over herself on the podium (Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The switch to middle-distance racing proves to be an inspired choice and Salthouse takes a further five podiums over the course of the season, including three more wins.

Australia’s Challenge Shepparton is her final race of the year and she finishes 2016 on the top step of the podium.

January 2017: Beats a strong field to second in Dubai

Salthouse lines up against a strong field at Ironman 70.3 Dubai and finishes second to Daniela Ryf.

It’s a good result, with the likes of Sarah Crowley, Emma Pallant-Browne, Lucy Charles-Barclay and Laura Philipp finishing behind her.

August 2018: Wins in her adopted home

Racing at Ironman 70.3 Boulder, Salthouse emerges from the swim in the lead pack and then sets the fastest bike and run splits of the day to win with a margin of over eight minutes.

The result comes in a city that Salthouse bases herself out of for summer training and is made all the better given the Aussie has been battling a hamstring injury in the months before.

August 2021: Takes the win at the Collins Cup

Ellie Salthouse winning at the Collins Cup
Ellie Salthouse holds the finish tape aloft after winning her match in the 2021 Collins Cup (Credit: PTO)

Anticipation builds as race day approaches with Salthouse due to face rival Lawrence and American Skye Moench.

The swim lives up to the billing with Salthouse and Lawrence swimming shoulder to shoulder, but the Brit takes a fall in wet conditions and we’re robbed of the footrace we’ve been waiting for.

Salthouse comes home in first and secures the first victory for Team International.

October 2021: Makes it eight wins in eight months

Following the Collins Cup, Salthouse wins at Ironman 70.3 Augusta in September and Ironman 70.3 Memphis in October to make it eight wins in eight months.

November 2022: A win in an otherwise lacklustre year

A middling season, including 13th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, picks up towards the end with a win at 70.3 Melbourne.

February 2023: Two wins to start a new year

Ellie takes two wins from two starts – the Ironman 70.3 Tasmania and the Husky Ultimate.

September 2023: Wins the first-ever Challenge Samarkand

Leads from gun to tape at the first international middle-distance race in Uzbekistan. It’s her first podium since May where she took bronze at Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau.

Against bigger fields she’s struggled to find form of old this year with a 19th, 6th and a DNF at the three PTO Open races, and a 13th at the 70.3 Worlds in Finland.

Ellie Salthouse in quotes

On where her competitive streak came from: “My brother was a huge influence on me growing up and always into sport. I always wanted to beat him, so I guess that’s where my competitive streak came from!”

On her six-month break from the sport in 2013: “I felt like I was racing for everybody else and not for myself anymore. I wasn’t enjoying the training and all the racing. I felt like I had to jump through so many hoops to impress selectors and other people, and I just lost the love of competing and training for myself and trying to achieve my goals.”

On her rivalry with Holly Lawrence: “I feel like on the race course, we’re both strong, dominant personalities… and we just don’t take any s***. We had an altercation on the race course at the [Ironman] 70.3 World Champs in 2019, where some not very nice words were exchanged when I had a mechanical issue.”

What’s next for Ellie Salthouse?

Triathlete Ellie Salthouse exits the swim in the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Ellie Salthouse exits the swim during the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for Ironman)

The 2023 season has yielded a mixed bag of results, and she’s yet to rediscover that 2021 season form.

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Top image credit: Casey Sykes/Getty Images for Ironman