Kona 2013: Jodie Swallow on her Hawaii debut

Exclusive interview with the Brit star on her maiden Kona attempt and the motivational methods of one Brett Sutton…


Jodie Swallow, under the tutelage of Brett Sutton, has made significant inroads in 2013, joining the sub-9hr club in winning Ironman Sweden and smashing the course record at 70.3 South Africa.

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With the renowned motivational methods of Team TBB’s Brett Sutton guiding her, a fit and firing Swallow could trouble the established order in Hawaii. Here Jodie elaborates to 220 on life with Team TBB, Brett Sutton and her goals for Kona…

Ironman South Africa, Kalmar and the Ironman 70.3 South Africa course record. It’s been quite a year for you. Has does it rate to previous seasons in terms of form and fitness?

It’s definitely been a happy one and that has translated into good health and good racing. In terms of my fitness now I can only compare it to when my 2010 year where I was winning all over the place. I may not be quite as speedy right now but I’m stronger by yards on the bike, I have better endurance and a greater ability to absorb mileage.

What impact has Brett Sutton had, both mentally and in training?

Brett and I know each other very well and I therefore have an outside eye monitoring me and looking at objectively at my training. Being so close, it’d be easy for Brett to respond emotionally to race results and training statistics as a friend one would. But he has an innate ability to keep it simple, clear and directed for me. 

What’s the Team TBB camp like as we approach Kona? How do you maintain team spirit when you’re essentially training with your Kona rivals?

We’ve been in Cozumel in Mexico in the lead up to Hawaii. In terms of rivalry, we train alongside one another every day of the year so nothing changes. There are enough competitive fibres in each one of us that, come race day, we’ll save them for then and for the rest of the field as well. 

What’s your overall Kona aim?

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To leave the island in the knowledge I did everything I could try and do to win the thing.