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2016 Season Wrap Up

By Jack Felix | Nov. 02, 2016, 11:01 a.m. (ET)

Jack FelixWhat a year it has been for me. From finishing my collegiate running career at Clemson and graduating from college (Go Tigers!) to discovering a new sport, turning professional and now deciding to move across the country to chase the Olympic dream. Around this time last year, Dan Arnett and the Endurance Concepts team began to set up a training plan to transform me from a runner into a triathlete. It started slowly and gradually as I learned skills and built a base, but grew into a full schedule similar to what I previously maintained during cross country or track. My weaknesses were obvious, and Coach Arnett had his work cut out for him. 

My first race was in March, in Clermont, Florida, where my swim limited my performance and kept me just off the podium. A month later in my second event, USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals in Clemson, Coach Arnett had sharpened the swim and kept my transition, bike and run on point allowing me to take third and earn my elite license. In the months following Collegiate Nationals, I raced in my first Continental Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, took an Age Group National Championship title in Omaha, Nebraska, spent weeks at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs fine tuning my form and fitness and closed my season in New Orleans with a top 10 finish at Elite Nationals.

After finishing my collegiate career with few athletic accomplishments to be proud of, this season was one of redemption. In my years as a Division I athlete there was perhaps one season that I finished without a stress fracture or other type of overuse injury. At the end of my career I was dissatisfied with my performance and truly felt I had let my coaches and teammates down. I questioned and hated every step I took. The passion and drive were nearly gone. Thanks to Coach Arnett I have been experiencing success and remember why I love to train and push myself every day. I have finally been able to train with no overuse injuries, and I am running faster than I ever have while setting personal bests on the track and the road.  

Jack FelixFinishing school and college sports left me disappointed and somewhat lost. Finding triathlon reignited my love of competition. I started the transformation process learning the basics, practicing technique and building skills. I am finishing this season as a full-time professional, moving across the country to chase a dream. I had the grit, Coach Arnett had the plan, Barb Lindquist had the guidance and combined it was a recipe for success. 

This week I am packing my car and driving across the country from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to Scottsdale, Arizona, to join the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program and train under Jarrod Evans. I am beyond excited to take this position, to train, and to compete all over the world representing the U.S. 

It is crazy how much can change in a year. To my coaches, family, friends, and USA Triathlon, I am grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for me. I’ll do my best out there.