Jamie Ann Phillips started racing sprint triathlons back in 2009, and thanks triathlon’s persistent peer
pressure inspiration worked up to racing Ironman Florida in 2014. A long-time recreational swimmer, Phillips was often first out of the water at local races, and specifically picked Ironman Florida over the hometown Ironman Chattanooga because of Florida’s challenging swim versus the Chattanooga’s downriver drift.
Unfortunately, the sea did not agree to her plan, and the swim was cancelled, forcing a crowded time-trial bike start. She overcame her frustration at the change of plans and had a good race, and does not see any asterisk next to her Ironman accomplishment for not having done that particular swim.
It may have helped that she had placed third overall in the 10-mile Swim the Suck just weeks before. The 2.4 mile Ironman swim would have been barely sufficient as warmup!
Fully content to be a “one and done” Ironman, Jamie Ann turned her sights to open water swimming. She is currently in a build phase of training, reaching 37,000 yards (just over 21 mile) in recent weeks. The goal on the horizon is the 28-mile “20 Bridges Swim” around Manhattan, which, along with the English Channel and Catalina Channel swims, is part of open water swimming’s “Triple Crown. ”
We talk training, her mindset during marathon swims, and some highlights from the last couple years of swimming (including a swim from Alcatraz in San Fransisco and a (totally legal) 25 km Border Buster swim into Canada.