Skye Moench: Background, career highlights, quotes
Skye Moench may have come to triathlon a little later than many, but it certainly hasn't held her back. Here's her story so far
Canadian-born American Skye Moench put her high-flying accountancy career on hold for triathlon. Her numerous triumphs suggest she made a fine calculation. Here’s her story so far…
Who is Skye Moench?
Although a relative latecomer to the pro ranks, Skye Moench was first introduced to triathlon at the age of 20. It was just that, at that moment in time, amassing the required equipment for both training and competition was beyond her means.
Instead, she was working several part-time jobs to put herself through college – specifically, Brigham Young University in Utah and its number-one-rated accountancy degree.
After graduating, a job in high finance with Ernst & Young allowed Moench to pay her way in the sport, albeit not giving her sufficient time to develop and progress as a triathlete.
She went part-time in 2015 and that season showed enough talent (she was unbeaten as an amateur at 70.3 distance that year) to convince her to turn pro in 2016. And she’s never looked back.
Her first podium finish didn’t arrive until 2018, by which time she had hooked up with the Australian coach Cam Watt, whom Moench credits with accelerating her career.
Since then, the victories have steadily flowed, at both 70.3 and Ironman distances, fuelled by some astonishing bike legs.
The first two wins came in the summer of 2019; a dramatic victory at the Ironman European championships in Germany (where leader Sarah True collapsed agonisingly close to the tape) was swiftly followed by 70.3 gold in Boulder.
But then disaster struck in 2019. Heading towards her first Kona in the strongest of form, a serious bike crash while descending a canyon ended her season.
But this most resolute of triathletes bounced back as quickly as her body allowed, determined to add more wins and podium places to her ever-lengthening list of achievements. At 34, there’s still plenty of time to add some more.
How old is Skye Moench?
Skye Moench was born on 2 October 1988, making her 34 years of age.
Skye Moench’s career highlights
June 2016: Impressive rookie season shows promise
In her first season as a pro, Moench achieves a top-five finish at Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, a position she repeats at the Ironman 70.3 Timberman race in New Hampshire come August.
June 2018: Maiden podium appearance
After the 2017 season brings Moench plenty of top-10 finishes but no podium places (the highest she finishes is fourth on her return to Coeur d’Alene), the American bags her maiden top-three placing with third spot at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland. Only the exemplary Swiss pair of Daniela Ryf and Imogen Simmonds go faster.
July 2018: Moench on a Swiss roll
Returning to Switzerland a month later, Moench goes one better at Ironman distance, finishing second and recording a personal best of 9:14:36. Her most successful season so far is further enhanced by another podium appearance, this time at Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz.
June 2019: A first pro career victory – three years in the waiting…
If 2018 confirmed Moench to be a contender at the highest level, the following year is when she truly steps up to the plate. After a pair of 70.3 silvers in Chattanooga and Switzerland, Moench travels to Frankfurt for the European championships at Ironman Germany.
In a dramatic race held in sweltering temperatures, clear race leader Sarah True collapses in the final kilometre and second-placed Moench comes through to take that maiden triumph, posting the fastest splits on both the bike and run.
August 2019: Boulder bike brilliance
Five weeks after glory in Germany, Moench drops back to 70.3 to take her second pro win in Boulder, set up by a bike leg that’s almost eight minutes quicker than that of her nearest rival.
April 2021: Riding to glory in The Woodlands
After the 2020 season is heavily protracted by the pandemic, Moench is out of the blocks at full throttle the following season, claiming an early victory at Ironman 70.3 Texas. Again, the foundation is an exemplary bike split.
September 2021: Titanic triumph in Tennessee
Despite missing out on a medal at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in mid-September, Moench returns to winning ways a week later when she wins the Ironman Chattanooga crown for the first time. Her margin of victory is in excess of 26 minutes.
May 2022: Near-miss at the Worlds
At the rescheduled 2021 Ironman World Champs in St George, Utah, Moench finishes just off the podium, fourth behind Ryf, Kat Matthews and Anne Haug. Any disappointment dissolves the following month with gold at Ironman Des Moines.
October 2022: Ninth on her Kona debut
As she put it on her Instagram account: “Great swim, average bike, and ugly run.” Despite her disappointment at not achieving “an amazing dream of a day” she says “I’m proud of myself for not giving up when things got extra tough.”
Skye Moench in quotes
On running her first Ironman in 2016 in Arizona: “I remember the last 10 miles. Running was just so painful and every single step seemed impossible because my quad muscles were just completely shot.”
On putting her finance career on hold for the sake of sport: “I quit my well-paying accounting job to pursue professional triathlon because I thought I could be good. There have been obstacles and challenges, but I have not back down.”
On missing out on a first Kona appearance after a serious bike crash in September 2019: “Some people were surprised at how well I took it mentally, but I thought ‘What else am I going to do? I can’t do Kona. I just have to deal with it.’”
On her 2022 Kona debut run issues: “At mile 10 on the side of the Queen K, I projectile vomited everything and my stomach did feel better. Shout out to the nice couple who watched that go down. Good times.”
- How much can athletes win at Kona?
- How much can athletes win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship?
What’s next for Skye Moench?
Continuing to divide herself reasonably equalling between 70.3 and Ironman ensures that Moench doubles her chances of a world crown. And with her undoubted superiority on two wheels, it would be a brave person to bet against the American’s coronation at some point in the next few years.
Top image credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images for Ironman