Meet super-age-grouper Simone Mitchell

A blazing second-place overall finish at Ironman Lanzarote last weekend was the latest of Simone Mitchell's impressive triathlon achievements. We catch up with the British age-group star.

| May 31, 2018 | PERSONALITY

Simone Mitchell finishes second overall at Ironman Lanzarote.

Simone Mitchell finishes second overall at Ironman Lanzarote.

Photo >Courtesy Club La Santa | Ironman Lanzarote

Many in the triathlon world might know her better as Simone Dailey. In 2014 the British triathlete finished an impressive second in the women's 25 to 29 category at the Ironman World Championship (to Jocelyn McCauley). With a new last name, Simone Mitchell has surged back to the top of the age group triathlon world with an impressive finish at last year's Ironman 70.3 World Championship and then an even more impressive second-place overall finish at Ironman Lanzarote. Congratulations on your huge race at Ironman Lanzarote. Were you surprised with the day?

Simone Mitchell: Thank you very much! Surprised with the result of course, but not my performance. I knew where I was in-terms of bike/run fitness due to my training in the build up to Lanzarote. But running passed athletes like Nikki Bartlett and Michelle Vesterby was pretty surreal!

This was your first full-distance since racing in Kona in 2014, I believe. Why the long gap between full-distance races?

I had 18 months off completely with no bike or run only rehabilitation from April 2015 due to knee surgery which I just couldn’t repair. It’s been a bit of a process. In that time I changed coaches (to Dr. Andy Kirkland), and focussed on building my strength and conditioning/ pilates business and opened up my own gym/studio. My first race back was the 70.3 European championships in 2016. I focussed on 70.3 races until the world championships in Chattanooga in September and decided to go back to full, which is my preferred distance.

Photo >Darren Wheeler

You ran an impressive 3:08 in Lanzarote - a big improvement over your 3:36 in Kona in 2014. What have you done to work on your running?

Honestly, just being consistent! Not making the same mistakes I did prior to my surgery. Last year to now has been the most consistent ever, so its good to see all is coming together.

You were the top age grouper at the 70.3 worlds last year, too. How often do you get asked when you are going to turn pro? (And, since I am nothing if not obnoxious ... when are you going to turn pro?)

Haha. I have been asked that quite a few times! At the moment I am still working full time and triathlon is a passion I have, I love running my own business and I’m enjoying the process. I'll never say never, we will see what opportunities arise.

One would guess that Kona will be the next big goal for 2018. Will you be racing anywhere else before then?

I would love to defend my 70.3 title in South Africa then straight onto Kona. Any other races I do will be decided last minute by my coach and only as part of training (hopefully with work permitting).