After taking the plunge two years ago to leave her project management engineering role in Sydney and chasing her dream to be a professional triathlete, Laura Siddall has today secured her first Ironman title.
Chasing the faster swimmer Karen Thibodeau (52:24) out of the water, it took Siddall (swim time 56:33) around 33kms to catch Thibodeau and from then on it was a one-horse race. She finished in a time of 9:16:38 – just over 23 minutes ahead of Michelle Gailey with Jessica Mitchell a further 8+ minutes back.
Multiple age group world championships
I have known Laura for a few years now. Back when we were both training at Bondifit under Spot Anderson, Laura was evolving as a good age group triathlete. She was good but then got better and went on to win ITU age group world championships and a 70.3 age group world championship title. We talked at length many times about the leap she was going to make, leaving a professional career that paid well to move into the often low paying world of professional triathlon. But dreams and passions often outweigh working for the man.
I remember in 2013 Laura raced the Hawaii 70.3 and was the first age group female across the line and 2nd female overall behind Belinda Granger who won the race. Laura was starstruck by Belinda and couldn’t believe she had the opportunity to meet her. Now she is one of them.
2017 has been Laura’s defining year
Fast forward to 2017 and after coming second at Challenge Wanaka this year, Laura backed up to secure another second place result the following weekend at Ironman New Zealand. At IMNZ, Laura ran down some world class opponents in the process, before going on to finally secure her maiden Ironman title two months later.
After learning the trade under former professional triathlete Spot Anderson, Laura made the leap in 2015 to leave Australia and move to San Francisco to train under Matt Dixon at purplepatch Fitness.
Laura’s degree in mechanical engineering and project management background has always enabled her to approach her new business very professionally. She is very calculated and is very clear about what she has to do each day, week and month to get to where she wants to be.
I had a couple of beers with her former coach Spot Anderson on Friday night and found he is adamant that Laura can win Hawaii. Indeed, she is very calculated and never seems to falter. She has a machine-like approach to her racing, doesn’t panic and is very in tune with what is going on at any given moment.
Enjoy your first Ironman win Laura and good luck with the rest of 2017!