Emma Garrard Xterra World Championship Athlete Profile
Name: Emma Garrard
Where do you live? Park City, Utah
Is this your first year competing at Worlds? What do you most look forward? No, I have raced worlds 8 times 6 as a professional. At the moment I look forward to being in Maui and swimming in the ocean.
What is your favorite aspect of Xterra? I love the family atmosphere but I love how all the courses are different, challenging and beautiful.
How did you get into Xterra or triathlon in general? When nationals were in Incline Village, Nevada I covered the race as a photojournalist for the local paper and was really inspired so I made it my goal to qualify for the race the next year.
What challenges did you have to overcome in order to qualify for Worlds, or what do you contribute your success to this year? I had a good season in 2014 but battled with getting sick a lot so this season I really wanted to build up my immune system and not get sick as often so I could train more consistently. I have got sick some but have generally been smarter about dealing with it and maybe missing one day of training vs. a week. It is also a challenge balancing family with training and a job. Mostly making sure I have time for all three, especially quality family time.
Josiah’s coaching the past two years has helped tremendously to consistently be on the podium despite what I feel like or what the course is like. I have also been steadily improving during the past 10 years and each year still find ways I can make improvements which is why I am still out here.
What is your favorite discipline and why? I love trail running and mountain biking equally as both get you away from the crowds and to beautiful places usually with lots of ups and downs. I love picking lines on both and being immersed in nature.
What is your least favorite discipline and why? Let’s face it swimming can be pretty and boring! 4000 yards in a 25 meter pool – yuck! But swimming in the ocean with turtles… I can do that!
What is your favorite piece of triathlon/Xterra equipment? It has to be the bike or I am lucky to say bikes. I will be riding my Specialized S-Works Fate in Maui. I also love riding my S-Works Era and rode that for the the first three US Championship Series races. I feel really comfortable on both bikes. It is amazing what mountain bikes can do and where they can take you and the connection you have with them.
What is one piece of advice you would give other off road triathletes trying to qualify for Worlds in the future or to those participating in Worlds for the first time? Enjoy it despite how challenging the race is. Know everyone is hurting just as much as you! By nature of the course, how steep and hot it is will make you work really hard and will force you out of your comfort zone and that is when things get fun!
Who do you need to give a special shout out to for making this season successful? Firstly my family for supporting me everyday but also making it literally possible for me to race and also Josiah for his coaching and support, often times going above and beyond what a lot of coaches do.
What are your expectations at Worlds? Go hard. My big dream is to win but my goal is to be on the podium.
If you had to choose one song to get stuck in your head for the entire race, what would it be?
I would say Beck Dreams although it will probably be the Mighty Machines theme song (see Youtube)
What is your favorite activity outside of training? Being responsible for a 2.5 year old and doing things that he gets excited about like swimming and watching dump trucks or being responsible for my dog, he also likes swimming, indifferent about dump trucks.
After the season is over what do you most look forward to doing that you were not able to do leading up to Hawaii? Getting up, put on normal clothes and leave them on all day. Really just relaxing more. I don’t feel I have a particularly restrictive lifestyle or diet during the season but not thinking about triathlons as much would be nice. Sometimes thinking and planning training is more tiring than the actual training. Although to be honest there is tons of sponsorship stuff to do once Maui is over.
What is one thing that you think others might be surprised to know about you? As a kid I was always the artist in the class not necessarily the athlete. Although I am very out of shape when it comes to art the creative process and ideas are things I value and enjoy.
Anything else you would like to add? I hope you win, Josiah!