When we opened the application period for the 2019 Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team, we knew it would be big. But honestly? The response blew us away.
Thousands of athletes applied for a spot. We looked beyond the numbers to find those who would benefit the most from being a part of the world’s best-supported amateur tri team. It wasn’t easy, but we narrowed it down to eight talented and promising triathletes.
They have until October 12 to get Kona-ready. And with mentorship from tri superstars, Tim Don and Sarah True, as well as top-of-the-line support from Specialized, Wahoo, Roka, and Science in Sport, they’ll have the edge they need to conquer the Big Island.
Let’s meet the team.
At 32, this Australian ex-soccer player and model raced his first full Ironman at 30 with a debut time of 8:43!
At 29 years old, Philipp Herber from Germany has been competing in triathlons for 11 years, finishing his first Ironman in 2017 in 8:45 and Kona 2018 in 8:56.
A 23-year-old from New Jersey, Justin won the overall amateur division in three 2018 USA Tri National Championships—Sprint, Olympic, and 70.3.
After taking on a bet to enter a sprint triathlon at 37, Paul quickly learned how to swim. 9 years later, he has two sub-9-hour Ironman finishes and two Kona podiums to his name.
A 29-year-old who played hockey throughout her school days, Ruth discovered triathlon in 2013. She’s the current 25–29 Ironman World Champ and aims to be the overall age group winner at Kona.
Out of British Columbia, 51-year-old Yvonne grew up with an active family and tried countless sports before finding triathlons. Her first Kona attempt in 2018 landed her on the podium.
Natia van Heerden
A former Olympic-level gymnast, Natia won a podium spot at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and has completed four Ironman races.
A 36-year-old competitive swimmer and ultra runner from Colorado who picked up riding along the way, Maggie won the women’s overall title at Ironman Maryland in September 2018.
We have more to come, so be sure to follow the team on the journey to Kona.