Yesterday we filed a podcast with long time professional triathlete and five time world champion Simon Lessing, during which Roman Mica asked him what it felt like to be getting ready to race for the last time (this weekend at the longhorn 70.3 in Austin) after a 23-year-long career.
You can listen or download the podcast HERE.
Today Simon Lessing made it official and announced his retirement and future plans.
The Press Release is below:
BOULDER, CO/October 1, 2008—Following more than two decades in the sport of global triathlon competition, Simon Lessing today announced that he will retire from his full-time athletic career following the Austin 70.3 triathlon this coming weekend. Lessing’s 23 year career began with winning the South African National Championships at the age of 18. From there he went on to set multiple course records, competed for Great Britain in the 2000 Summer Olympics, and won five World Triathlon Championship titles.
Although Lessing will be leaving the active professional racing circuit, he is plans to remain involved with the sport. Through his recently founded company, Boulder Coaching (www.bouldercoaching.com), Lessing plans to utilize his knowledge of training and conditioning, coaching others who are committed to excelling the sport.
Lessing will also continue in his role as a spokesperson for Athletes for a Cure, and Boulder-based CEO Challenges. Athletes for a Cure is a fundraising initiative of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (www.pcf.org) that benefits more than 2 million American families battling prostate cancer diagnosis. In 2009, Simon will be co-host of the CEO Triathlon Challenge, encouraging CEOs who have a desire to compete in triathlon to take the step from the corner office to the race course.
“It is with reluctance and sadness that I decided the Austin 70.3 triathlon will be the final race of my full time athletic career,” said Lessing. “During the past 23 years I have had a wonderful, enjoyable and rewarding athletic career. I am forever grateful for what triathlon has given to me. Everywhere I have traveled I have met many wonderful and unforgettable people, many of whom have become close personal friends. It was triathlon that enabled me to meet my wonderful wife Lisa.
“Simon is an amazing athlete and humanitarian who inspired so many individuals throughout his career,” commented Scott Zagarino, director of the Athletes for a Cure initiative. We are extremely grateful to Simon for all he has done for Athletes for a Cure in helping us raise awareness for this disease and funding for advanced prostate cancer research. We wish him well and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
"I am thrilled to be working with Simon in the next stage of his career as he transitions from pro athlete to coach and business person,” said Ted Kennedy, president of CEO Challenges (www.ceochallenges.com). “Simon will provide CEO Triathlon competitors with advice, guidance, and support to ensure they have a fantastic experience, and have the best race possible. CEOs who sign up for a CEO Challenge event will appreciate the help that a five-time triathlon world champion can provide."
“These full time programs along with my support for Athletes for a Cure will result in a more selective type of racing schedule in the foreseeable future,” added Lessing. “While I will dearly miss a full time racing schedule, I look forward to my continued involvement in the sport of triathlon.
For his brilliant achievements as a member of the British triathlon team, Simon was awarded the title of Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.