It’s been a whirlwind twelve months since Nick Quenet won the 2021 Joburg Ultra. The 25-year-old South African triathlete, capped 2022 by defending his title.
“It was a last-minute decision to enter the Joburg Ultra, after visa issues saw me back in South Africa sooner than I thought.” Nick had spent close to three months in Boulder in the United States. As well as racing internationally. His time in Colorado materialised after he was accepted into Ian O'Brien’s triathlon squad. O'Brien is the 2021 USA Olympic Coach of the year. Among his coaching stable are Taylor Knibb, and Matt Mcleroy.
“I pitched the idea to my coach, and he was on board. So, a three-day turnaround to get on a brand-new TT bike, book flights, accommodation, and get over jet lag was going to be a tough ask!”
Quenet, who was a top swimmer, runner, and hockey player at school, oozes sporting talent. Triathlon suits him to the tee. He is both a competitive Olympic Distance, and Ultra, triathlete. “I recently turned professional in triathlon, and placed my bags and based myself, in the Mecca of endurance sport; Boulder.”
2024 Olympic Games on the radar
The Paris Olympics is less than two-years away. Nick is giving himself the best possible shot at being part of Team South Africa. “I train with an Olympic triathlon coach, and with athletes from a variety of nations. My aim is to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games, as well as targeting some middle-distance races.”
While always due to be back in South Africa for a few months, African Championships was not on the agenda. Although you wouldn’t have known what it took him to get there, as he powered to the win.
“A nine-hour time zone difference and a 40-degree weather change later, and I was in Joburg. Damian [Bradley] so kindly gave me an invitation to race. I made the most of it with a well-executed day to take the win. I’m convinced that this is the toughest triathlon race in South Africa. This is for a variety of reasons, as every mile has to be earned and fought for. I tend to find a purpose in the struggle, and this race has a lot of suffering, so I imminently enjoyed it (psycho maybe, but the truth).”
Triathlon mind-games and nutrition plan
Triathlon is a mind-game for sure, especially ultras. Nick’s adaptation both physically and mentally, is what helps him to be a cut above the rest. Nutrition naturally plays a big role as well, and Quenet’s go to race fuel is 32Gi Sports Nutrition.
“My nutrition was my saving grace on the day, that could’ve seen a lot go wrong. My go to 32Gi Race Drink, Cramp Assalt, and High Intensity Sports Gels, fuelled me to no cramps and no bonking!”
2022 really has been a whirlwind year for Quenet. Coupled with South African, and African titles, he also had a broken foot. It ruled out his chances of competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. It’s now time for a well-earned rest. “For now, it’s been a long season, with some lofty highs and some injury lows, and I’m ready to enter the off season. Off season for me will be hanging with my mates back home, going to our Hermanus holiday house, spending quality time with my family.”
As a parting shot, Nick has some tips. How do you make sure you come out of the off [festive] season with your training and racing goals on track? “Indulge in things you normally don’t, but always in moderation. The mind needs to rest as much as the body needs too. Try break the normal routine, and be very easy and gentle on yourself. Most of all, have fun and come back hungrier than ever!”