Sarah Piampiano
Country
World Rank
11
Weight
54kg
Height
1.68m
Age
40
DOB
07/24/80
Swim: RokaBike: CanyonRun: Saucony
65%Swim94%Bike93%Run91%Overall
Athletes are measured as a percentage (for each discipline and overall) based on a relative comparison to the #1 ranked athlete who's rated at 100%.
Biography More

Sarah Piampiano

There are lots of unexpected routes to the top echelon in triathlon, but Sarah Piampiano's is up there with the best of them.

The American's first event at the age of 29 was the result of a bet with a colleague as to who would win an Olympic-distance triathlon. And at that point she was a high-flying investment banker putting in 100-hour weeks at work. And a self-confessed chain smoker.

Just a few years later she'd cracked the top 10 at Kona - "my best sporting memory as it was so unexpected."

Dreaming big and working hard were paying incredible dividends.

Since then Sarah has racked up a seriously impressive CV in the swim, bike, run world.

She's a multiple winner at both 70.3 and iron-distance, has her sights set on rounding out her career in style before targeting a sub-2:30 marathon, ultra events and making her mark in gravel bike races.

Going all in - and reaping the dividends

A quick rewind to June 2009 as that initial bet came to be settled.

Sarah takes up the story: "I smoked a cigarette on my way to the race, but I beat him and that race changed my life. I quit smoking on the spot, bought a bike and started training. And the end of 2011 I quit my job and started training and racing full time as a professional triathlete."

The results were dramatic - Sarah topped the age group standings in nearly every event she entered and made the top five in her category at Kona.

By now she was working with coach Matt Dixon at Purple Patch Fitness and her first race as a pro was at Cozumel in November 2011, where she finished seventh.

The 2012 season was a breakthrough one, as she won 70.3 New Orleans (which was held as a duathlon), placed sixth in Texas and fourth in New York and qualified for the World Championships in Kona, where she finished 23rd.

The following year continued the progress with top 10s in three IRONMAN events (Melbourne, Austria with a new PB of 9:07 and Mont Tremblant) but she swerved Kona to let her body recover from another tough campaign.

Things started well in 2014 with runner-up spots at 70.3 Pucon and New Orleans, but the year came to a juddering halt at IRONMAN Texas in May.

Sarah was in third place in the marathon, but two miles before the finish a problem with her left leg reduced her to a walk. She kept going all the way to the line, taking 10th place, but it was diagnosed she had a broken femur.

A return to racing later that year garnered top 10s at 70.3 Miami and IRONMAN Western Australia and she was soon back to winning ways in what proved a stellar 2015.

Showing her versatility, she won 70.3 New Orleans (despite two punctures on the bike), showed up well at IRONMAN Texas (sixth) and Austria (third in a new PR of 9:03) before heading to Kona where she cracked the top 10, a result she described as "so unexpected".

She'd been 38th out of the swim and 17th by the end of the bike segment before the best second half-marathon split of the entire field powered her into seventh place.

And that performance was then underlined with her first IRONMAN victory at Western Australia to close out the season.

Further titles followed at 70.3 New Orleans and Qujing - as well as another seventh at Kona - but an injury early in 2018 made life tougher before she roared back to her best form yet at IRONMAN Brazil in 2019.

Not only did she power to victory there, but she did so with a 2:53 marathon, faster than the men's winner and to top off a staggering PB of 8:40:48.

That raised expectations for Kona, but a frustrating day meant a quick reset, with Western Australia in December the target and a second place in 8:42:57 a fine response.

Her 2020 plans had included a crack at the Boston Marathon (a sub 2:30 time is a future goal) and an iconic 144-mile gravel bike race, but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to both of those and left her with some major decisions to make.

Turning bad habits into good

"I've always dreamed big and had significant goals. And I'm not afraid of failing."

Whether it's investment banking or triathlon, Sarah Piampiano has set her sights high and done everything to achieve them.

"I look back now and trying to get to where I have has been so much harder than I anticipated. I think when you are first starting you make these huge leaps and then it plateaus. And each little improvement thereafter is really small.

"But I guess that's a part of what makes triathlon so incredible. How rarely do you go to a race and feel like everything has gone perfectly? Because the race is so long, stuff is bound to go wrong and you're going to have to adapt.”

And for Piampiano, the beginning of each event is a challenge in itself: "I hyperventilate at the start of every swim! I'm so scared of drowning. I have to calm myself down and then I can go about my business."

It's been a remarkable journey so far and she now devotes plenty of her time helping others replace their bad habits with good ones through The Habit Project.

The next phase of her life will be balancing the end of her pro triathlon career with starting a family, all amid COVID-19.

She's admitted it's "complicated" and "stressful". Still, if anyone can handle it, it's her - and there are lots of inspirational examples of women in the professional ranks who have come back stronger than ever after having children.

She also has many other options. Her business skills have set the standard for sponsorship activation and she serves on the boards of the PTO as well as i-Tri for Girls, a non-profit organisation focused on promoting empowerment through triathlon for adolescent girls.

Current PTO World Ranking Points
11
Average best 3 races 2019/2020
97.51
Average
97.51
Ranking History
#1#70#139#208#277201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212011Overall15.523 pts#153Swim8.32158 pts#197Bike34.3305 pts#196Run38.3263 pts#1222012Overall121.127 pts#68Swim52.0817 pts#131Bike115.737 pts#87Run81.1888 pts#772013Overall201.951 pts#29Swim59.689 pts#125Bike177.622 pts#20Run138.767 pts#322014Overall208.033 pts#50Swim61.0975 pts#203Bike180.598 pts#27Run138.767 pts#612015Overall252.649 pts#30Swim66.2822 pts#255Bike186.871 pts#24Run185.065 pts#162016Overall261.031 pts#23Swim69.0047 pts#275Bike186.871 pts#25Run186.525 pts#142017Overall251.299 pts#32Swim77.5504 pts#260Bike191.51 pts#25Run180.251 pts#232018Overall243.118 pts#49Swim74.8 pts#235Bike191.51 pts#28Run194.632 pts#122019Overall292.524 pts#17Swim69.9934 pts#241Bike205.412 pts#18Run200.571 pts#122020Overall292.524 pts#12Swim69.9934 pts#203Bike205.412 pts#12Run195.571 pts#102021Overall97.508 pts#11Swim34.9967 pts#200Bike102.706 pts#6Run97.7856 pts#9
Results
61 Races9
1
14
2
8
3
2019
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
1 Dec
2
IM Western Australia
59:09
4:38:39
2:59:51
8:42:57
105.688
08:47:27105.69
19 Oct
2
IM 70.3 Coqimbo
31:29
2:34:54
1:22:02
4:31:39
57.8142
04:15:2957.81
12 Oct
14
IM Hawaii
1:04:36
4:57:04
3:08:54
9:16:29
81.8905
09:01:4681.89
29 Sep
2
IM 70.3 Augusta
26:26
2:19:01
1:22:47
4:12:18
90.1685
04:08:3890.17
28 Jul
2
IM Hamburg
1:06:27
4:50:54
2:56:21
9:00:42
94.3006
08:56:0794.30
14 Jul
3
IM 70.3 Astana
--:--
--:--
--:--
4:12:34
72.9928
04:02:4472.99
7 Jul
1
IM 70.3 Ecuador
33:11
2:21:07
1:21:49
4:19:26
80.97
04:12:1480.97
26 May
1
IM Brasil
58:12
4:43:48
2:53:18
8:40:48
92.5355
08:35:0292.54
12 May
2
IM 70.3 Monterrey
33:07
2:09:44
1:29:55
4:15:53
50.809
03:58:1850.81
4 May
6
IM 70.3 St. George
29:50
2:21:10
1:23:55
4:18:48
80.2856
04:11:2280.29
2018
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
2 Dec
4
IM Mar del Plata
25:29
5:00:53
3:00:48
8:32:18
80.9715
08:18:0580.97
18 Nov
3
IM 70.3 Xiamen
--:--
--:--
--:--
4:17:51
61.7733
04:03:5261.77
13 Oct
11
IM Hawaii
1:05:04
4:52:01
2:59:26
9:01:57
81.9325
08:47:3981.93
22 Jul
3
IM Lake Placid
1:04:40
5:25:23
3:07:31
9:43:24
67.6492
09:16:2467.65
24 Jun
2
IM 70.3 Coeur d'Alene
31:11
2:26:04
1:22:34
4:23:39
65.8426
04:10:4865.84
27 May
2
IM Brasil
58:04
5:01:33
2:58:21
9:03:33
79.8458
08:47:3679.85
22 Apr
1
IM 70.3 Peru
28:25
2:19:58
1:23:14
4:15:08
68.2453
04:03:3268.25
14 Apr
3
IM 70.3 Liuzhou
30:31
2:22:05
1:21:02
4:20:55
66.736
04:08:3166.74
2017
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
3 Dec
1
IM Mar del Plata
1:03:12
4:52:19
3:10:57
9:11:03
80.2139
08:55:1080.21
19 Nov
5
IM Arizona
1:01:24
4:50:32
3:11:28
9:09:10
77.9485
08:51:3577.95
14 Oct
DNF
IM Hawaii
--:--
--:--
--:--
--:--
09:11:39-
27 Aug
1
IM 70.3 Quijing
29:32
2:16:56
1:27:20
4:18:15
79.1459
04:10:2579.15
16 Jul
6
IM 70.3 Racine
--:--
2:21:33
1:27:25
3:50:01
31.0841
03:28:2831.08
11 Jun
2
IM Cairns
1:05:38
4:52:58
3:02:49
9:08:20
79.1229
08:51:4179.12
13 May
2
IM 70.3 Santa Rosa
30:51
2:21:36
1:19:45
4:18:12
77.9497
04:09:5677.95
23 Apr
2
IM 70.3 Peru
30:55
2:16:48
1:24:39
4:15:38
72.6709
04:05:3472.67
1 Apr
4
IM 70.3 Liuzhou
24:21
2:22:53
1:21:58
4:15:49
52.6933
03:58:5252.69
2016
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
4 Dec
3
IM Western Australia
59:11
4:49:29
3:05:13
8:58:51
85.225
08:47:1085.22
13 Nov
2
IM 70.3 Xiamen
37:46
2:20:39
1:27:19
4:32:33
54.1176
04:15:0054.12
8 Oct
7
IM Hawaii
1:02:42
5:07:29
3:07:04
9:22:31
85.8598
09:10:5085.86
30 Jul
1
IM Vineman
1:08:58
4:57:13
3:07:07
9:19:05
72.2179
08:56:4372.22
17 Jul
2
IM 70.3 Racine
--:--
1:12:52
1:24:41
2:38:33
0
--
17 Apr
1
IM 70.3 New Orleans
33:24
2:17:04
1:25:51
4:19:57
71.799
04:09:2471.80
20 Mar
4
IM 70.3 Monterrey
30:29
2:20:08
1:23:14
4:17:24
64.3474
04:04:2064.35
2015
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
6 Dec
1
IM Western Australia
1:06:49
4:50:46
3:01:18
9:03:47
85.362
08:52:0685.36
10 Oct
7
IM Hawaii
1:10:01
5:02:28
3:06:33
9:24:32
89.8088
09:16:0289.81
16 Aug
DNF
IM Mont Tremblant
--:--
--:--
--:--
--:--
08:57:27-
28 Jun
3
IM Austria
56:59
5:00:09
3:00:12
9:03:10
77.4782
08:45:2577.48
14 Jun
3
IM 70.3 Eagleman
34:28
2:23:53
1:29:12
4:29:45
51.6236
04:11:3051.62
16 May
6
IM Texas
1:04:04
4:49:52
3:13:54
9:13:47
75.8838
08:54:2775.88
26 Apr
5
IM 70.3 Texas
31:22
2:19:50
1:26:03
4:20:19
64.0102
04:06:5964.01
19 Apr
1
IM 70.3 New Orleans
24:33
2:20:03
1:26:21
4:15:17
68.7899
04:03:5268.79
28 Mar
8
IM 70.3 California
29:48
2:25:25
1:25:52
4:26:19
65.695
04:13:1765.69
15 Mar
2
IM 70.3 Monterrey
30:37
2:15:21
1:21:46
4:11:03
69.0633
03:59:5569.06
25 Jan
6
IM 70.3 South Africa
31:11
2:56:47
1:34:03
5:08:55
0
04:22:50-
2014
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
7 Dec
8
IM Western Australia
1:02:06
4:51:14
3:14:52
9:12:38
68.5006
08:47:4268.50
26 Oct
7
IM 70.3 Miami
33:28
2:22:13
1:28:38
4:27:32
36.4993
04:04:1636.50
17 May
10
IM Texas
1:02:28
4:53:04
3:37:14
9:38:56
34.1178
08:46:5234.12
3 May
8
IM 70.3 St. George
29:28
2:27:07
1:25:24
4:26:08
56.8831
04:09:5856.88
13 Apr
2
IM 70.3 New Orleans
29:45
2:20:53
1:28:24
4:22:35
54.7693
04:05:5454.77
6 Apr
3
IM 70.3 Texas
31:04
2:11:57
1:26:07
4:11:57
63.8283
03:58:5963.83
2013
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
17 Nov
4
IM Arizona
1:02:48
4:46:23
3:12:49
9:05:57
70.7235
08:42:5970.72
27 Oct
4
IM 70.3 Austin
30:19
2:20:35
1:26:57
4:21:24
68.8091
04:09:4368.81
18 Aug
10
IM Mont Tremblant
1:01:55
5:15:17
3:19:05
9:41:58
44.4669
08:57:1344.47
30 Jun
4
IM Austria
53:58
5:05:49
3:02:12
9:07:30
62.4187
08:38:1762.42
24 Mar
9
IM Melbourne
26:47
4:56:41
3:16:44
8:44:52
0
--
2012
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
13 Oct
23
IM Hawaii
1:06:20
5:29:53
3:23:29
10:04:51
41.4921
09:16:0341.49
9 Sep
24
IM 70.3 World Championship
33:22
2:52:08
1:34:34
5:05:04
0
--
11 Aug
4
IM New York
47:14
5:10:49
3:28:29
9:30:29
56.3151
08:55:2456.32
19 May
6
IM Texas
1:03:13
5:09:00
3:30:18
9:47:38
27.3192
08:49:5227.32
2011
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
27 Nov
7
IM Cozumel
1:02:26
5:24:36
3:25:44
9:57:58
15.523
08:50:4315.52
Ranking per Season
Overall
Year
Points
Position
2021
97
11
2020
292
12
2019
292
17
2018
243
49
2017
251
32
2016
261
23
2015
252
30
2014
208
50
2013
201
29
2012
121
68
2011
15
153
Swim
Year
Points
Position
2021
34
200
2020
69
203
2019
69
241
2018
74
235
2017
77
260
2016
69
275
2015
66
255
2014
61
203
2013
59
125
2012
52
131
2011
8
197
Bike
Year
Points
Position
2021
102
6
2020
205
12
2019
205
18
2018
191
28
2017
191
25
2016
186
25
2015
186
24
2014
180
27
2013
177
20
2012
115
87
2011
34
196
Run
Year
Points
Position
2021
97
9
2020
195
10
2019
200
12
2018
194
12
2017
180
23
2016
186
14
2015
185
16
2014
138
61
2013
138
32
2012
81
77
2011
38
122
TEST