She is one of the few women on the planet to with both an ITU and Ironman world title - a feat she achieved in the same year, 1995. We caught up with Smyers just before the Laguna Phuket Triathlon last November, where she finished 16th overall and easily won the women's 55-59 age group.
March 15, 2018 | PERSONALITY|
Three-time ITU world champion Karen Smyers achieved an incredible double in 1995 - she took the world title in Kona and then, five weeks later, took the ITU world title in Cancun, Mexico. A freak accident with a storm window (a shard of glass cut her hamstring) and then getting hit by a truck appeared to sideline her hopes of competing in Sydney, but she would successfully return to competition to qualify for the Olympic trials. Another bike accident and then thyroid cancer would put her out of the Olympics in 2000, but Smyers would return to racing in 2001, finishing fifth at the age of 40 at the Ironman World Championship. In 2005 the American returned to Kona again and, at 44, once again finished in the top 10.