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Sarah Piampiano

Visit ProfileInactive since 05 Sep 2021
-
World Rank
-
National
0
Swim
0
Bike
0
Run
United States
Weight
54kg
Height
1.68m
Age
43
Born
1980
Swim
Roka
Bike
Canyon
Run
Saucony
Biography

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.

Show more
Ranking History
#5#73#141#209#2772011201220132014201520162017201820192020202120222011Overall5.17 pts#153Swim4.16 pts#197Bike17.17 pts#196Run19.16 pts#1222012Overall40.38 pts#68Swim26.04 pts#131Bike57.87 pts#87Run40.59 pts#772013Overall67.32 pts#29Swim29.84 pts#125Bike88.81 pts#20Run69.38 pts#322014Overall69.34 pts#50Swim30.55 pts#203Bike90.30 pts#27Run69.38 pts#612015Overall84.22 pts#30Swim33.14 pts#255Bike93.44 pts#24Run92.53 pts#162016Overall87.01 pts#23Swim34.50 pts#275Bike93.44 pts#25Run93.26 pts#142017Overall83.77 pts#32Swim38.78 pts#260Bike95.75 pts#25Run90.13 pts#232018Overall81.04 pts#49Swim37.40 pts#236Bike95.75 pts#28Run97.32 pts#122019Overall97.51 pts#17Swim35.00 pts#241Bike102.71 pts#18Run100.29 pts#122020Overall97.51 pts#12Swim35.00 pts#203Bike102.71 pts#12Run97.79 pts#102021Overall18.48 pts#152Swim29.72 pts#214Bike67.73 pts#77Run26.93 pts#1972022Overall18.48 pts#189Swim20.68 pts#268Bike35.49 pts#206Run26.93 pts#228

Results

64 Races9
1
14
2
8
3

2021

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
05 Sep
DNF
Challenge Roth1:01:164:31:49--:----:--
08:07:18
-
Swim1:01:16
Bike4:31:49
Run--:--
07 Aug
8
Ironman 70.3 Boulder33:052:15:121:27:204:18:19
55.4424
04:02:08
55.44
Swim33:05
Bike2:15:12
Run1:27:20
27 Jun
13
Ironman Coeur d'Alene1:03:035:13:403:59:4010:22:28
0
08:56:41
-
Swim1:03:03
Bike5:13:40
Run3:59:40

2019

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
01 Dec
2
Ironman Western Australia59:094:38:392:59:518:42:57
105.688
08:47:27
105.69
Swim59:09
Bike4:38:39
Run2:59:51
19 Oct
2
Ironman 70.3 Coqimbo31:292:34:541:22:024:31:39
57.8142
04:15:29
57.81
Swim31:29
Bike2:34:54
Run1:22:02
12 Oct
14
Ironman Hawaii1:04:364:57:043:08:549:16:29
81.8905
09:01:46
81.89
Swim1:04:36
Bike4:57:04
Run3:08:54
29 Sep
2
Ironman 70.3 Augusta26:262:19:011:22:474:12:18
90.1685
04:08:38
90.17
Swim26:26
Bike2:19:01
Run1:22:47
28 Jul
2
Ironman Hamburg1:06:274:50:542:56:219:00:42
94.3006
08:56:07
94.30
Swim1:06:27
Bike4:50:54
Run2:56:21
14 Jul
3
Ironman 70.3 Astana--:----:----:--4:12:34
72.9928
04:02:44
72.99
Swim--:--
Bike--:--
Run--:--
07 Jul
1
Ironman 70.3 Ecuador33:112:21:071:21:494:19:26
80.97
04:12:14
80.97
Swim33:11
Bike2:21:07
Run1:21:49
26 May
1
Ironman Brasil58:124:43:482:53:188:40:48
92.5355
08:35:02
92.54
Swim58:12
Bike4:43:48
Run2:53:18
12 May
2
Ironman 70.3 Monterrey33:072:09:441:29:554:15:53
50.809
03:58:18
50.81
Swim33:07
Bike2:09:44
Run1:29:55
04 May
6
Ironman 70.3 St. George29:502:21:101:23:554:18:48
80.2856
04:11:22
80.29
Swim29:50
Bike2:21:10
Run1:23:55

2018

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
02 Dec
4
Ironman Mar del Plata25:295:00:533:00:488:32:18
80.9715
08:18:05
80.97
Swim25:29
Bike5:00:53
Run3:00:48
18 Nov
3
Ironman 70.3 Xiamen--:----:----:--4:17:51
61.7733
04:03:52
61.77
Swim--:--
Bike--:--
Run--:--
13 Oct
11
Ironman Hawaii1:05:044:52:012:59:269:01:57
81.9325
08:47:39
81.93
Swim1:05:04
Bike4:52:01
Run2:59:26
22 Jul
3
Ironman Lake Placid1:04:405:25:233:07:319:43:24
67.6492
09:16:24
67.65
Swim1:04:40
Bike5:25:23
Run3:07:31
24 Jun
2
Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene31:112:26:041:22:344:23:39
65.8426
04:10:48
65.84
Swim31:11
Bike2:26:04
Run1:22:34
27 May
2
Ironman Brasil58:045:01:332:58:219:03:33
79.8458
08:47:36
79.85
Swim58:04
Bike5:01:33
Run2:58:21
22 Apr
1
Ironman 70.3 Peru28:252:19:581:23:144:15:08
68.2453
04:03:32
68.25
Swim28:25
Bike2:19:58
Run1:23:14
14 Apr
3
Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou30:312:22:051:21:024:20:55
66.736
04:08:31
66.74
Swim30:31
Bike2:22:05
Run1:21:02

2017

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
03 Dec
1
Ironman Mar del Plata1:03:124:52:193:10:579:11:03
80.2139
08:55:10
80.21
Swim1:03:12
Bike4:52:19
Run3:10:57
19 Nov
5
Ironman Arizona1:01:244:50:323:11:289:09:10
77.9485
08:51:35
77.95
Swim1:01:24
Bike4:50:32
Run3:11:28
14 Oct
DNF
Ironman Hawaii--:----:----:----:--
09:11:39
-
Swim--:--
Bike--:--
Run--:--
27 Aug
1
Ironman 70.3 Quijing29:322:16:561:27:204:18:15
79.1459
04:10:25
79.15
Swim29:32
Bike2:16:56
Run1:27:20
16 Jul
6
Ironman 70.3 Racine--:--2:21:331:27:253:50:01
31.0841
03:28:28
31.08
Swim--:--
Bike2:21:33
Run1:27:25
11 Jun
2
Ironman Cairns1:05:384:52:583:02:499:08:20
79.1229
08:51:41
79.12
Swim1:05:38
Bike4:52:58
Run3:02:49
13 May
2
Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa30:512:21:361:19:454:18:12
77.9497
04:09:56
77.95
Swim30:51
Bike2:21:36
Run1:19:45
23 Apr
2
Ironman 70.3 Peru30:552:16:481:24:394:15:38
72.6709
04:05:34
72.67
Swim30:55
Bike2:16:48
Run1:24:39
01 Apr
4
Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou24:212:22:531:21:584:15:49
52.6933
03:58:52
52.69
Swim24:21
Bike2:22:53
Run1:21:58

2016

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
04 Dec
3
Ironman Western Australia59:114:49:293:05:138:58:51
85.225
08:47:10
85.22
Swim59:11
Bike4:49:29
Run3:05:13
13 Nov
2
Ironman 70.3 Xiamen37:462:20:391:27:194:32:33
54.1176
04:15:00
54.12
Swim37:46
Bike2:20:39
Run1:27:19
08 Oct
7
Ironman Hawaii1:02:425:07:293:07:049:22:31
85.8598
09:10:50
85.86
Swim1:02:42
Bike5:07:29
Run3:07:04
30 Jul
1
Ironman Vineman1:08:584:57:133:07:079:19:05
72.2179
08:56:43
72.22
Swim1:08:58
Bike4:57:13
Run3:07:07
17 Jul
2
Ironman 70.3 Racine--:--1:12:521:24:412:38:33
0
-
-
Swim--:--
Bike1:12:52
Run1:24:41
17 Apr
1
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans33:242:17:041:25:514:19:57
71.799
04:09:24
71.80
Swim33:24
Bike2:17:04
Run1:25:51
20 Mar
4
Ironman 70.3 Monterrey30:292:20:081:23:144:17:24
64.3474
04:04:20
64.35
Swim30:29
Bike2:20:08
Run1:23:14

2015

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
06 Dec
1
Ironman Western Australia1:06:494:50:463:01:189:03:47
85.362
08:52:06
85.36
Swim1:06:49
Bike4:50:46
Run3:01:18
10 Oct
7
Ironman Hawaii1:10:015:02:283:06:339:24:32
89.8088
09:16:02
89.81
Swim1:10:01
Bike5:02:28
Run3:06:33
16 Aug
DNF
Ironman Mont Tremblant--:----:----:----:--
08:57:27
-
Swim--:--
Bike--:--
Run--:--
28 Jun
3
Ironman Austria56:595:00:093:00:129:03:10
77.4782
08:45:25
77.48
Swim56:59
Bike5:00:09
Run3:00:12
14 Jun
3
Ironman 70.3 Eagleman34:282:23:531:29:124:29:45
51.6236
04:11:30
51.62
Swim34:28
Bike2:23:53
Run1:29:12
16 May
6
Ironman Texas1:04:044:49:523:13:549:13:47
75.8838
08:54:27
75.88
Swim1:04:04
Bike4:49:52
Run3:13:54
26 Apr
5
Ironman 70.3 Texas31:222:19:501:26:034:20:19
64.0102
04:06:59
64.01
Swim31:22
Bike2:19:50
Run1:26:03
19 Apr
1
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans24:332:20:031:26:214:15:17
68.7899
04:03:52
68.79
Swim24:33
Bike2:20:03
Run1:26:21
28 Mar
8
Ironman 70.3 Oceanside29:482:25:251:25:524:26:19
65.695
04:13:17
65.69
Swim29:48
Bike2:25:25
Run1:25:52
15 Mar
2
Ironman 70.3 Monterrey30:372:15:211:21:464:11:03
69.0633
03:59:55
69.06
Swim30:37
Bike2:15:21
Run1:21:46
25 Jan
6
Ironman 70.3 South Africa31:112:56:471:34:035:08:55
0
04:22:50
-
Swim31:11
Bike2:56:47
Run1:34:03

2014

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
07 Dec
8
Ironman Western Australia1:02:064:51:143:14:529:12:38
68.5006
08:47:42
68.50
Swim1:02:06
Bike4:51:14
Run3:14:52
26 Oct
7
Ironman 70.3 Miami33:282:22:131:28:384:27:32
36.4993
04:04:16
36.50
Swim33:28
Bike2:22:13
Run1:28:38
17 May
10
Ironman Texas1:02:284:53:043:37:149:38:56
34.1178
08:46:52
34.12
Swim1:02:28
Bike4:53:04
Run3:37:14
03 May
8
Ironman 70.3 St. George29:282:27:071:25:244:26:08
56.8831
04:09:58
56.88
Swim29:28
Bike2:27:07
Run1:25:24
13 Apr
2
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans29:452:20:531:28:244:22:35
54.7693
04:05:54
54.77
Swim29:45
Bike2:20:53
Run1:28:24
06 Apr
3
Ironman 70.3 Texas31:042:11:571:26:074:11:57
63.8283
03:58:59
63.83
Swim31:04
Bike2:11:57
Run1:26:07

2013

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
17 Nov
4
Ironman Arizona1:02:484:46:233:12:499:05:57
70.7235
08:42:59
70.72
Swim1:02:48
Bike4:46:23
Run3:12:49
27 Oct
4
Ironman 70.3 Austin30:192:20:351:26:574:21:24
68.8091
04:09:43
68.81
Swim30:19
Bike2:20:35
Run1:26:57
18 Aug
10
Ironman Mont Tremblant1:01:555:15:173:19:059:41:58
44.4669
08:57:13
44.47
Swim1:01:55
Bike5:15:17
Run3:19:05
30 Jun
4
Ironman Austria53:585:05:493:02:129:07:30
62.4187
08:38:17
62.42
Swim53:58
Bike5:05:49
Run3:02:12
24 Mar
9
Ironman Melbourne26:474:56:413:16:448:44:52
0
-
-
Swim26:47
Bike4:56:41
Run3:16:44

2012

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
13 Oct
23
Ironman Hawaii1:06:205:29:533:23:2910:04:51
41.4921
09:16:03
41.49
Swim1:06:20
Bike5:29:53
Run3:23:29
09 Sep
24
Ironman 70.3 World Championship33:222:52:081:34:345:05:04
0
-
-
Swim33:22
Bike2:52:08
Run1:34:34
11 Aug
4
Ironman New York47:145:10:493:28:299:30:29
56.3151
08:55:24
56.32
Swim47:14
Bike5:10:49
Run3:28:29
19 May
6
Ironman Texas1:03:135:09:003:30:189:47:38
27.3192
08:49:52
27.32
Swim1:03:13
Bike5:09:00
Run3:30:18

2011

Points: NaN
Date#RaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPts
27 Nov
7
Ironman Cozumel1:02:265:24:363:25:449:57:58
15.523
08:50:43
15.52
Swim1:02:26
Bike5:24:36
Run3:25:44

Ranking per Season

Overall

Year
Points
Pos
2022
18
189
2021
18
152
2020
97
12
2019
97
17
2018
81
49
2017
83
32
2016
87
23
2015
84
30
2014
69
50
2013
67
29
2012
40
68
2011
5
153

Swim

Year
Points
Pos
2022
20
268
2021
29
214
2020
34
203
2019
34
241
2018
37
236
2017
38
260
2016
34
275
2015
33
255
2014
30
203
2013
29
125
2012
26
131
2011
4
197

Bike

Year
Points
Pos
2022
35
206
2021
67
77
2020
102
12
2019
102
18
2018
95
28
2017
95
25
2016
93
25
2015
93
24
2014
90
27
2013
88
20
2012
57
87
2011
17
196

Run

Year
Points
Pos
2022
26
228
2021
26
197
2020
97
10
2019
100
12
2018
97
12
2017
90
23
2016
93
14
2015
92
16
2014
69
61
2013
69
32
2012
40
77
2011
19
122
TEST