Female Triathlete of the Year AwardPresented by Jeff Bowman
Good evening. How many Triathletes do we have here tonight?
It’s my pleasure to share with you all about our 2016 Female Triathlete of the Year.
She has always been adventurous. She dabbled in Gymnastics and played Softball in High School. On 3 separate occasions she has sustained a broken bone – twice roller blading and once playing softball.
Her life in Triathlons began on New Year’s eve 2009 when her dad asked if she had any resolutions for the New Year. She said she wanted to do a Triathlon. He didn’t take her serious so in the new year they trained hard, her dad thinking it might be a fad. She completed her first Triathlon at Freedom Springs 2010, where she won 3rd place age group and has been hooked ever since.
In 2016 she competed in 9 Triathlons, racing at every distance. From the Red Hills sprint in April, to a hot Gulf Coast Half Ironman in May, then a brutal stretch of racing in June where she raced Escape from Alcatraz on the West Coast (I call it Sharkatraz), followed 6 days later by the Jacksonville Tri Series on the East Coast, culminating the following weekend by a top AG finish at the SE Regional Olympic Championship in Chattanooga. Her dad tells a funny story about their Alcatraz experience, when after the race they met Triathlete Pro Andy Potts. Evidently she was so dreamy eyed and smitten, when he asked her how she did in the race, all she could do was babble. Her dad had to step in and speak for her, letting Andy know, she did fine.
She saved her best performances for the 2nd half of the season, learning that she was indeed a fast triathlete, with her strength coming at the end. In July, it was a preview of things to come as she won her AG at the Chattahoochee Challenge on the strength of a 6:40 per mile paced run. A month later was her breakout race. After a strong swim, and a stronger ride, she saved the best for last outrunning local Triathlete Melanie Leitman, in route to her first overall win. One month later she finished the season, as the top local woman with a top-10 AG finish, at a brutally HOT Ironman Chattanooga. Her time was 12hrs and 47 minutes. That day the temperature soared to over 95 degrees. Raise your hand if you know what an Ironman event is? Keep it raised if you’ve ever done an Ironman? Raise your hand if you’ve ever run a marathon in 95-degree heat! OK, I make my point.
Now if that wasn’t enough, she also found time to race in some of the region’s most prestigious Road Races. Including the Tallahassee Marathon, Gate River Run, Springtime 10K & Peachtree Road Race.
She also volunteered helping mentor kids with the South Side Multi-Sport Club, including swim, bike and run sessions, clinics and races, culminating this summer with South Side athletes racing in the Youth Triathlon Series. If you aren’t familiar with the South Side Multi-Sport Club, it encourages participation by children on the Southside of Tallahassee in the sport of Triathlon, for physical fitness, general well-being, and to encourage healthy lifestyles.
So… whether it was racing the local Red Hills Triathlon, finishing top AG and PR’ing at a Brutal Ironman Chattanooga, placing top 3 OPEN women in the Gulf Winds Triathletes Grand Prix competition (for the 2nd consecutive year), or mentoring our up and coming disadvantaged youth, this athlete’s competitive achievements, inspiring spirit, and commitment to service are beyond recognition. Her future is bright and word on the street is that she recently broke the 6 min per mile barrier in a recent training session.
She is one of our best ambassadors, showing every day that triathlon is open, inclusive, welcoming and truly accessible to anyone with drive and determination. She gives back to the sport by mentoring under privileged kids and being a supportive role model to her family & friends. Last year I stood here and presented her dad with the male Triathlete of the Year award, and told you I fully expected her to join her dad someday. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that day is here. Please help me in celebrating our 2016 Female Triathlete of the Year, Jamila Allen!