Posted 2nd May 2013

Jacqui Slack, XTERRA Triathlete

When racing Xterra you need to be mentally and physically strong. It’s a hard sport and no race leaves its triathletes unscathed. So what kind of person gets to the top?

On first appearance, the petite and smiley Xterra triathlete, Jacqui Slack is anything but the kind you’d expect to see out on the circuit. Looks can be deceiving and she’s a rising force in the world of off-road triathlon. A former firefighter in the Staffordshire Fire brigade, she’s a tough personality and with an ‘anything is possible’ attitude. She has exactly what it takes to win the Xterra World championships in Maui this October. Having travelled the world competing, she has Xterra wins in New Zealand, Italy and podium places in most Xterra races she’s competed in.

Slack started her triathlon career ten years ago when a day of spectating planted a seed. She dusted off her old bike and in her first race came third overall and second in her age group. She quickly became a GB age grouper and has won some of the bigger events, such as Windsor this year.

As one half of Xterra’s Golden couple, Jacqui happily spends half the year training in the sunshine of partner Ben Allen’s hometown in Australia. Swimming in shark and jellyfish infested waters is all in a day’s work for the pro triathlete. Her training regime holds no prisoners, with a hard day entail-ing something along the lines of a 90 minute threshold swim, a 3 hour ride and a 75 minute run in the On. And if that’s not enough, her relaxation time is spent surfing and baking up a storm in the kitchen.

This ex-firefighter trains and races in the On. Slack says: “It’s been a fantastic relationship so far.

As soon as I stepped into my Ons at Ironman Zurich I felt instantly tied to them.

Slack explains further: "Since I’ve been wearing the Cloudrunners my legs haven’t been as tired and I seem to recover a lot quicker from races and hard training sessions. This is a real bonus. I feel lifted when running and my form has definitely improved. They have great grip when running off-road and on wet trails, which certainly helps for Xterra. When wearing the Cloudracer I’ve also improved my 1k reps PB by ten seconds each km. I love the design of the shoes. They look super-cool and are extremely comfortable.”

Jacqui grew up in Stoke on Trent and in her school days she regularly competed in the squad at her local swimming club. She also did well on the track at 1500m and contended in the Cross Country. Swimming is still her strongest discipline, but she’s become speedy on the mountain bike and her run is improving all the time in her Ons. She’s also done rather well in 70.3, coming third in her first and only 70.3 race.

Jacqui Slack is one of a series of top athletes who have opted to team up with On in the past few months. Daniel Halksworth (UK), David Hauss (France), Caroline Steffen (Switzerland), Ben Allen (Australia), Dave Dellow (Australia) and Paul Maticha Michieka (Kenya) have all substantially im-proved their best triathlon and marathon times since doing so, and have also earned victories in major competitive events.

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