Name: Heather Wurtele
Date of Birth: July 12, 1979
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Current home town: Kelowna, British Columbia
Other sponsors: Saucony, Cervelo, First Endurance Nutrition, Rolf Prima Wheels, Aqua Sphere, Giro, Manitoba Harvest
Career highlights so far: 4x Ironman Champion, 2x Ironman 70.3 Champion, Top 10 Ironman 70.3 World Champs (7th 2011, 6th 2012), Top 10 Ironman World Champs (8th 2011, 14th 2012), Canadian Long Course athlete of the year 2011
Why do you like Smith Optics?: They are the best multi-sport sunglasses I have ever worn – light, comfortable, with easy to change lenses – and the casual shades are fantastic too.
Favorite Smith product and why: I LOVE my PivLock V2 max sunglasses. They are perfect to wear while riding because they don’t fog when you jump on your bike after the swim, there is no upper rim to obstruct your view when in the aero position, and they sit on my face perfectly so sweat doesn’t drip onto the lenses.
How did you get into doing Triathlons?: I did all sorts of sports growing up, rowed varsity in university, and did multi-day adventure races before giving triathlon a try in 2004. My husband and I got hooked and eventually became full-time pro athletes in 2009.
Describe the suffering you encounter during a difficult race: In every race you always have the elements, your competition, and yourself to fight against. In my experience making yourself hurt to catch someone, or get the most out of yourself on the day, or overcome tough conditions isn’t really “suffering” – it hurts so good. The most suffering comes when your body doesn’t cooperate (flat legs, illness) and you can’t express your fitness.
How do you overcome that to push on?: It’s amazing how bad certain parts of a race can be but with experience you know that even if you feel horrible you can still perform well. I’ve gone from wanting to drop out, to winning…Turning things around seems to be a matter of forgetting entirely about results and focusing solely on what you can do in that moment to move forward.
Craziest thing you have seen in a race?: People running with shit down their legs, because, well, it’s an Ironman and precious time is lost when you hit a porta potty!
In the off season, I like to… Mountain bike, hike, see new sights, vegetate, eat and drink in good company… Just do unstructured activity unlike the rest of the year.