Jane Fardell: Retired from a successful triathlon career that included podiums at ITU and Ironman level. After a five year break returned to represent Australia in Athletics at the IAAF World Champs in Moscow.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to announce Jane Fardell has resumed training with the trisutto.com squad for the upcoming season.
Jane has the dubious honour of being my earliest pro athlete still racing.
I received a letter from a 16 year-old Jane after she saw me giving a talk at the State Titles back in the late 90s. Jane comes from the country town of Dubbo (a six-hour drive inland from Sydney) and wrote that her goal was to make the State team, which she did a year later for both triathlon and cross country running.
After corresponding through mail she eventually attended a training camp where she was advised that if she wanted a chance at ‘making it’ she needed 12 months of straight swim training. A big decision for someone just starting to break through as a runner and triathlete, but one she committed to. Moved to Canberra and did very little but work her arms off in the pool for the next year.
This was to provide Jane with the base to launch into senior triathlon:
In 1998 she was 3rd at the Australian Junior Champs.
In 1999 she won the World Junior Age Group title in Montreal, Canada.
She then had a couple of seasons on the ITU World Cup circuit, where she bagged a couple of podiums before being crowned French Grand Prix Series Champ in 2002.
Turning to Ironman races Jane then had five top six finishes in a year including a brilliant 2nd at Ironman Switzerland along with a win at Powerman Malaysia.
A breakthrough year for a developing Ironman athlete as I’m sure most would agree.
Yet she retired after this outstanding season. Why? Because being a feet-on-the-ground country girl she explained that despite her ‘great year’ when considering living and travel expenses against prize and sponsorship money she had still ended up losing $13,000. ‘It’s time I went home and got a real job’. An unfortunate reality still keeping many talented pro athletes out of our sport.
So Jane retired and returned to real life. After a five year break away from all sport and wanting to get fit again she entered a local marathon. She won. Thus started a new career in Athletics where over the past few years she has won over 20 Half Marathons, has placed top 10 in the Paris Marathon and most recently took 2nd at the Australian Marathon titles before going on to represent Australia at the IAAF World Champs in Moscow.
Since then Jane has been plagued with some injury issues, which she flew to Switzerland to talk with the old boss about along with the possibility of retirement. She did a couple of runs and a bit of swimming and I’m proud to say Jane is now doing anything but retiring. The last four months on the run stimulus program have addressed those injuries and Jane will restart her sporting career with the Paris Marathon in April before staying the summer in St Moritz.
Jane still owes herself an Ironman win from her earlier career and so triathletes need to start hoping she doesn’t bring her bike with her to Europe. Not many are going to fancy a 2:37 runner chasing them down.
Welcome Jane. We’re very proud to have you back!