Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby is ever smiling and funny to be around in daily life, but when it comes to racing she’s straight talking and serious. The day before this year’s Ironman Lanzarote the bubbly Dane stated she expected to lead the swim and bike, and then planned on staying in front all the way to the line on the run. It might have sounded arrogant but she backed up her bold words 24 hours later. Vesterby started triathlon in 2007 after a career as an elite swimmer and only did her first Ironman in Arizona in November 2011 where she came fifth. It was here she realised she’d found her distance and went on to race at Ironman Melbourne in March this year where she came ninth in stacked field. The 28-year-old Dane plans on going to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii this October in the form of her life and has the desire to be one of fastest girls in the sport.
1. Describe your first ever bike?
My first bike was a second-hand Cannondale that was used for rental at Club La Santa. My parents bought it for me and later I sold it back to my mum, so it was a win-win situation.
2. How did you do in your first race?
I was 10th at Volcano Triathlon at Club La Santa. I was so proud!
3. What’s your essential brekkie?
Porridge with apples, raisins and cinnamon washed down with a large fruit smoothie.
4. Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?
Braun, shaved and trimmed in the summer, and white and hairy in the winter to stay warm in Denmark.
5. Train alone or with a group?
I am a girl who likes to talk therefore I like to train with others. I also appreciate training on my own to keep focus, so a little of both.
6. Energy drink, tea or coffee?
To start the day coffee is the best but during training I go for High5 energy drink. To end the day Good Night tea works better than coffee.
7. Where does your bike live?
My bike lives in its own house in Denmark. It was specially made for it.
8. Snickers or energy bar?
A High5 energy bar of course.
9. Biggest waste of your time?
10. Craziest place you have slept since becoming triathlete?
I was at a John Bon Jovi concert in Denmark and fell asleep. Training had been hard so I can probably be excused.
11. Pee on the bike, stop or hold it until the run?
Pee on the bike but not on the gels. That doesn’t taste good!
12. Three people to have dinner with?
I would pick one and that would be my big brother who was handicapped and died six years ago. He could not talk, run, bike or swim but he was always happy and smiling. It always brings me happy memories to think about Mark, so I would love to have dinner with him.
13. What do you carry with you when you train?
My mobile phone, my Garmin 910XT and a clear plan on what to do and why I am doing it.
14. Worst chafing/sunburn?
After my first Ironman in Arizona I got some huge blisters under my feet. That was no fun at all.
15. Favourite place to ride?
That has to be Lanzarote because it’s so beautiful, hilly and windy.
16. What theme music would play to a film of your life and why?
Fat Boy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now because I just love life and the movie would show it. Life is a moment thing – the present moment.
17. Pre-race rituals and meal?
A bottle of Corona the day before the race is the best. My German friends taught me this secret.
18. Funniest person you know?
My mother because she is almost as fun as me.
I read a lot of headless crime novels. It is the best form of relaxation.
20. What you’ll be doing this month?
It’s a secret! But I will do what it takes to get to Hawaii fitter than ever this year