America’s Greatest Triathlete and the Retirement Announcement of a Legend
America’s greatest female triathlete: Meredith Kessler has been everyone’s favorite for years, and now it has been recognized by the fan’s and IRONMAN. She’s had a very successful career in the sport, but possibly what she’s most known for is her down to earth selfless attitude.
We recently did a piece on her coming back to race at IRONMAN Texas, but what we didn’t show was all the fan photos she stopped to take and all the time spent engaging with so many of her fan’s.
There were times we were scouting the course and someone would yell out “Best of luck Meredith!” from afar, she turned around, paused and then yelled back and calling that fan/athlete by their name. How she remembers almost everyone she meets is remarkable to say the least, but that is one of the many wonderful qualities of MBK. She truly cares, knowing that people look up to her as an athlete and a great human being on a whole.
With 11 IRONMAN titles and 15 70.3 titles, its safe to say she has this sport down pretty well. She’s toed the line with the best females in the sport and has alway’s shown such gratitude for being able to do so. Congratulations on earning this new title Meredith!
One of those amazing athletes Meredith has raced alongside is Leanda Cave, who today has announced her retirement from triathlon.
Being a 4 time World Champion, after a successful an 18-year career. She was the first female triathlete in the history of the sport to win both the IRONMAN Triathlon and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in the same year. Bellow is Leanda’s announcement.
“It comes with great emotion to publicly announce my retirement from professional triathlon racing,” said Leanda Cave. “I made the decision during the Island House Triathlon in Nassau late last year. As I crossed the finish line, I was a grovelling mess for I knew this would be the last time. Clearly distressed, I felt it was necessary to inform the race organizers and fellow athletes who were very respectful of my decision.
“I’ve had a long career as a professional female triathlete. Now that I can sit back and reflect on my achievements, I appreciate all the opportunities I had and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way: family, friends, sponsors, fans, and spectators. I should also make a special note to thank the ITU, IRONMAN and British Triathlon for all your support over the years.
“I am beyond blessed to be walking away from a career in this sport I love so much with 4 World Titles. Now I’ve had the time and energy to think, I realize how lucky I am. Most athletes strive to make that happen once. Some athletes get so close but fall short. While I was racing and training day in and day out, I never really appreciated these epic moments that shaped me.”
“If you are asking why I choose to retire now, the answer is simple: it’s time. During my 18-year racing career, I have had a lot of success and equally as many failures. However, this 40-year-old body can no longer do what it found so easy in its 20s and early 30s. For some, this would be no reason to stop. For me, I was left with no choice.”
“The need to achieve great things is part of my DNA and as this slowly slipped away, so did my love for the sport. It became a chore to train, and I found it harder and harder to motivate myself to race. I know my body so well. I know what it feels like to be in the sort of shape to win big. I couldn’t get there anymore, so the enjoyment was gone. I still want to achieve big and I am going to make that happen in a different way.”
“As an athlete, I’ve always expressed that our bodies have a use by date for optimal performance. I could feel that date looming a couple of years ago when I physically struggled to be competitive with my rivals despite training as hard as I have ever done. So, I put my exit strategy in place and began to build my coaching company and grow Team LC with my manager, Lou Cantin. Both have been highly successful.
“Now I have expanded into public speaking, writing a book, and product testing/design in conjunction with my sponsors: Santini, KASK and Salming. I’m also thrilled to be part of the Ventum brand alongside my other half, Diaa Nour. I am currently test riding their new road bike as well as collaborating with the design team of the Ventum One to improve what is already an outstanding triathlon bike.
“As a final note, for those young female triathletes out there who may feel there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up. Remember, I was there too. Triathlon has shaped me into a strong, independent woman and I believe this sport can help so many, young and old.”
We are sad to see Leanda leave the sport, but are thrilled that we still get to work alongside her as she brings so much knowledge to the table. Thanks for everything Leanda!