Lesley Smith arrived in the triathlon stronghold of Boulder, Colorado in 2014 as she set out on the journey to professional stardom.
Since then the Iowa City native hasn’t looked back, registering podium after podium at both the 70.3 and full distance in IRONMAN events.
In her earlier years Lesley had been a very talented distance runner and had competed on both the track and cross-country team during her studies for a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Missouri.
She then made the step up to the full distance in late 2017 and qualified for the World Championship at Kona in both 2018 and 2019. She finished 22nd in the latter year.
The move from running to triathlon came by chance after Lesley had experienced a long spell out of sport while she was working for an events management company in Austin, Texas. She joined a triathlon group and the rest, as they say, is now history.
It is fitting perhaps then that Smith’s memorable first victory in a 70.3 event came in Austin in 2014, while she also claimed another event victory a year later at Challenge 70.3 Knoxville.
Lesley also performed superbly in her adopted hometown of Boulder in 2019, finishing second in both the 70.3 and full-distance IRONMAN races.
If you are looking for sage advice about the art of triathlon racecraft, you are in luck as Lesley has some to offer.
“Look back and I bet your best overall race result was not on the day you went balls to the wall on the bike,” she says.
“If it was, then I say you can do better! Quite simply: bike hard… but not so hard you cook your legs for the run. Finding that sweet spot is a task in itself.”