Ironman 70.3 Boulder is less than a day away. We can almost feel the excitement radiating all the way from Boulder to Golden (where we’re located). We figured now would be the perfect time to show-case one of our partnered pro triathletes (who happens to be competing tomorrow)! Meet Justin Metzler. Not only is Justin fast, but he’s friendly and approachable. He was completely down for this interview that covers his background, training, goals and even what it’s like to date a fellow pro triathlete (Jeanni Seymour).
Q: When did you know you wanted to “go pro”?
A: I did my first triathlon when I was 13 years old and have been racing ever since. I did not start out at a very competitive level but I loved pushing myself in training and saw a rapid improvement in my race results very early on. After the first few years of purely doing it for the fun of the sport, I began to follow professional triathlon from the outside and became a bit of a super fan. I would highlight triathlon magazines, put up posters in my bedroom and wait in line at race expos just to get an autograph from some of the superstars. I continued to train hard and in my final year of high school I started to win a few local races. By the time I got to collage I was still racing as an amateur but going to races and beating some pros on the same course (some of whom I had gotten an autograph from the day before). Eager and excited I ultimately dove head first into professional racing in 2014 (I was 19 years old at the time). Despite some people advising me it was a premature decision, I was named the 2014 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year and began to establish myself as one of the young up and coming kids to watch out for.
Q: You share the same dedicated focus with your partner, Jeanni Seymour. How did you and Jeanni meet?
A. Jeanni was born in South Africa but has been coming to Colorado to train for the past five years. After graduating college, I went all in on pro triathlon and moved from the mid-west to Colorado to also chase the dream. We had a mutual friend who had mentioned her name a few times in passing and finally the two of us met in person at a local open water swim race. I knew she was the perfect girl for me the moment I laid eyes on her. I asked her out on a whole bunch of dates and for three months she turned me down or cancelled! But I was persistent and finally, she agreed to have coffee. We connected instantly, went on a few more dates and shortly after that we moved in with each other. Since then we have been inseparable, training and racing around the world and experiencing it as a pair.
Q: What’s the best part of being in a relationship with a fellow pro triathlete?
A: Our lives are 100% in sync. We understand each other and never have to explain ourselves. My parents always joked that I would have to find the “perfect” girl that would put up with all things I do that make me a focused and determined athlete. But when I found Jeanni, she was living the exact same way. It has always been so easy with her.
Q: What’s the most challenging part?
A: The most challenging part is having to compromise. When we were living and training alone, every decision that we made was in the best interest of ourselves. But now, we are a team and we try to make decisions that will put us both in a position to individually achieve our best as athletes but at the same time prioritizing our relationship. Sport is what we love, it is what we do and it is our passion but it will not be there forever (our relationship will).
Q: Okay, back to the sport. What’s your favorite music to train to?
A: I always ride with music but never run with music. I am a big “rhythm runner” and I find music to be distracting when I’m out there pounding the pavement. When riding I’m into hip hop or anything with a good beat.
Pic: Arnold Bjornsson
Rhythm Running on Track
Q: What’s the strangest place you’ve ever used our Omnium portable trainer?
A: My Omnium travels with me to every race and training camp. The strangest place was in Cartagena, Colombia. It was too dangerous to ride outside and too hot to ride in the hotel room with no AC. So I took the Omnium
outside on the pool deck/ bar area and did my work-out overlooking the famous Old City. Other unique locations have been Liuzhou (China), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Lisbon (Portugal).
Q: Fill in the blank: “If I weren’t a pro triathlete I would _______for a living.”
A: I got my degree in Human Physiology so I would likely be applying that education a bit more directly.
Pic: Tristan Brown
Thanks to Justin for the interview AND for representing Feedback Sports with such a positive attitude and dedication. Best of luck at IronMan Boulder 70.3, Justin. We’ll be cheering for you and Jeanni both! Click here to follow Justin on Instagram: @bigmetztri .
*RACE UPDATE: Justin took 4th and Jeanni took 1st!! Congrats to both!