Interview with Jake Montgomery, Geelong 70.3 Champion

Photo courtesy of Jake Montgomery

Did you know that it’s still summer in Australia? Of course you did, because you read Adrienne Taren’s excellent race report on IM 70.3 Geelong last weekend! Well it may be summertime, but the livin’ certainly wasn’t easy for men’s champion Jake Montgomery. The 21-year-old phenom from New South Wales had to beat several seasoned veterans to take home the ‘W’, and get this – it was only his 3rd half-iron distance race! While he may not be “that much of a party animal”, I think you’ll find Jake to be quite a pleasant young fellow.

With my apologies to Jake, and especially to Americans everywhere, for accidentally pretending to be from the USA. And to young people, for sounding so very old (“pleasant young fellow?” #LOL). And to everyone’s sense of humour. #sworry

Interview with Jake Montgomery, 2016 Geelong 70.3 Champion

webstey-40x40First off, congratulations on your win in Geelong! You must be pumped to take down such a strong field in only your 3rd 70.3 outing – I bet you partied like it was Chinese New Year’s Eve.
jakeThanks, I am so happy with the result, it was a quality field and a tough race. It’s still sinking in. I had dinner with some of my sponsors after the race, I’m not that much of a party animal.
webstey-40x40Most importantly, you beat several Kiwis in the process. Let’s start off with a tough question – would you rather:
– get beaten by a Kiwi
– get bitten by a funnel-web
– get beaten at 2-up by Crowie on ANZAC day

jakeIt wouldn’t bother me to be beaten by Kiwis or Crowie – I have some great friends from New Zealand. They are our ANZAC brothers and Crowie is a great role model and someone I look up to. I would not like to be bitten by a funnel-web, as they are scary little dudes and one bite and you’re cactus.
webstey-40x40But seriously. You’re only 21, and you’ve had what looks like a pretty solid start to a budding ITU career. Why did you decide to move to long course? Do you think you’ll return to take a crack at Tokyo 2020, or has the allure of 70.3 (or longer) got you for good?  Is there a full Ironman in your future someday?
jakeI wasn’t getting the opportunities to progress in ITU, and I always wanted to race the longer distance as 70.3 is more of a reflection of an individuals performance. No, I am 100% focused on 70.3 now and love the racing style and distance. Kona has always been my goal to race and 70.3 is part of getting to fulfill that dream.
webstey-40x40You mention on your website that you’d like to race in the ‘World Championship’ this year. I presume you mean 70.3 Worlds? How close does the win in Geelong get you to qualifying? Are you thinking beyond qualification yet – i.e., what placing at 70.3 Worlds would feel like a success to you? Do you think racing in Mooloolaba would give you an advantage over the non-Aussies?
jakeYes, racing at 70.3 Worlds was the goal I set myself when I did my first long course race in February 2015. Based on my recent results and cumulative points I am eligible to race on the Sunshine Coast in September. Like all my racing, getting to the start line 100% fit and ready to race is the most important priority. I always go into a race aiming for the top spot, so worlds will not be any different. Anything can happen on the day, so as long as I am there and in the mix I will give it my best shot. I feel just making it to worlds as a professional in my first year is a huge success, and whatever happens on the day is a bonus. 
I have raced on the Sunshine Coast a couple of times in the past and love the set up and location. I get great support from the locals and have some good friends that live there, and I think any race on home turf is a big advantage.
webstey-40x40It looks like you’re planning to come over to our side of the planet in May or June. Do you have any races scheduled in North America yet, or will it fully depend on how the first half of the year goes?
jakeYes, I cannot wait to get back to the US. I had a great time there last year – the people were so friendly and supportive, and it felt like home. I was very lucky to have met so many other athletes and locals in my time there. The US is an amazing place to train and race, all the races are really well run. I just wish I had more time to explore and travel but hopefully I will get that in the future.
After Geelong 70.3 the half-distance racing dies down here in Australia, which means you will only see me competing in olympic/sprint distance triathlons until I head back to the US in May. The focus now is to gather enough support to begin my racing in the US at the North American pro championship in Utah. From here I will head back to Boulder, to start a big training block to lay the foundations in preparation for worlds. I also hope to race Boulder and Vineman 70.3.
webstey-40x40I spent 2 months in Australia (well, Canberra – if that counts) and got hooked on the Veggie. a) do you like Vegemite, b) can you please send me some Vegemite, and c) WTF?? how did this ever become a food? You’ll be bridging an important cultural gap if you can answer this for me and my Northern Hemispheric brethren.
jakeMate, what are you doing eating Vegemite? That’s boot polish. I’ll bring some over for you if you are that keen, just don’t open it near me or a naked flame.
webstey-40x40Finally, please mention any sponsors, family members, or ‘Indecent Proposal‘-esque supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.
jakeFirstly I have to say a massive thanks to my parents for their support, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am lucky enough to be paired with brands that have been my personal favorites since day one and if I had an option I wouldn’t pick anyone else – in my eyes they are all market leaders. Titan Performance Group, Cervelo, Xterra Wetsuits, Nimblewear, Oakley, Zoggs, Qoleum, 3D BikeFit, Garmin and Riplaces. I would also like to thanks George at Endeavour Cycles, he always has my bike finely tuned before each race.

webstey-40x40Thanks very much Jake, and good luck in the rest of 2016!
jakeThank you, appreciate you taking the time to ask me a few questions. Hopefully we’ll catch up in the US.


About the Author

Aaron 'King of All Technology' Webstey is a former ITU triathlete and current dadbod owner. If your social media posts have been 'liked' by @AaronWebstey, you might be a triathlete.