PLATTEVILLE — As exceptional as 2019 has already been for Platteville’s Jen Schweigert, 2020 is shaping up to be a banner year for the local triathlete.
Schweigert, 39, the owner of Snap Fitness, qualified for the 2020 Boston Maraton by winning her 35–39 age group at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix on Jan. 20. Her time of 3 hours, 26 minutes and 29 seconds was five minutes faster then her nearest agegroup competitor, good for 22nd among all women and 116th place overall.
In August, the East Saint Paul, Minn. native achieved the second of three major goals for 2019, when she earned a spot in the 2020 International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships.
Schweigert finished 18th in her 40–44 age group in the Olympic distance triathlon at the USA Age Group National Championships in Cleveland on Aug. 10 to earn a spot on Team USA.
She completed the 0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike ride, 6.2-mile run race in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 16 seconds to place 25th in the 35–39 age group, but for qualifying placements for the 2020 ITU Age Division World Championships, athletes are regrouped into their age group for the 2020 season. Schweigert turns 40 on March 8, 2020.
“So, we got done racing and I knew what my time was, but we had to wait and see if I qualified for one of the 18 spots in the 40–44 age group,” explained Schweigert. “When the women all finished I knew my time was ranked 18th in my age group, the final qualifying spot, but we still had to wait for the official announcement. The 19th-place finisher was just three seconds behind. It was that close.”
Schweigert also qualified for the 2020 ITU World Championships in the Sprint Triathlon with a 19th place finish in the time of 1:16:43, but will only compete in the Olympic distance next August.
The 2020 ITU Grand Final World Championships is a three-day event that will be held August 21–23 in city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.
Schweigert qualified for the 2016 Half Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia. She finished that 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-run race 102nd in her age group (35–39) with a time of 5 hours, 54 minutes.
“I turn 40 next year, so I am trying to be more selective with my races now,” said Schweigert. “Triathlons are a mental, physical and emotional toll on your body, but I enjoy the training. I switched my focus to running after the 2018 triathlon training and decided I would train to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time in 2019.
“I set three stretch goals, to qualify and run the Boston Marathon, make Team USA for the Olympic distance age group World Championships and earn a spot in the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.”
After the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Schweigert scaled back her racing schedule.
“In 2017 and 2018 I continued to train, but I only did a race here or there,” said Schweigert. “I needed to take some time off from racing. I also took four months off swimming recently, so I wasn’t even sure I would to much triathlon.”
Schweigert got back into swimming and was still training with her coach Bill Martin out of Verona.
In July she entered the Waterloo (Iowa) Triathlon and finished third among all women in her preparation for the USA Age Group National Championships.
“That made me pretty confident going into the National Championships in Cleveland.”
The swim portion of the race was shorted due to rough water on Lake Erie. She finished the swim in 14:03. She then completed the bike portion in 1:10:13 and finished the run in 42:46, which was 10th fastest in her ago group.
“They changed the run course to a single loop 10K run instead of a 5K double loop,” said Schweigert. “The run began with a 1.5-mile up hill stretch on to a big highway. When you train around here, it’s easy to get frustrated with out topography. There is never an easy day of running or biking because you always shave to climb a hill. I feel like the course at Cleveland was set up for me and I was thankful for all the hills around here that I train on.”
Up next, Schweigert will run in the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday to try an improve her qualifying time for next year’s Boston Marathon, which would give her an earlier start time for the race that will be held Monday, April 20, 2020.
“I am still deciding if I want to go for my triple crown and run the Ironman 70.3 in California in December with the goal of qualifying for the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championships that will be held in November 2020 in New Zealand,” said Schweigert. “I need to finish the marathon Sunday and just see how I feel. I know I can do it, but I have to be in the right mind set to want to do all that training. You have to be wary of burnout.”
“But what better way to celebrate turning 40, than being able to compete at the best events in the world in the sports I love?,” added Schweigert.
Schweigert is married to Jim Schweigert, who is originally from Cuba City.