537. Dede Griesbauer, Professional Triathlete


“Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you have to be slower.”

Some people have obvious superpowers. Others — like professional triathlete Dede Griesbauer — keep their superpowers closer to the chest. Dede recently gave a TEDxBoston talk about her own superpowers: persistence and determination. And in this conversation, she explains how receiving a “Persistence & Determination” award as an 8-year-old at summer camp helped her become the successful athlete she is today. Dede is 51 years old, and has been competing as a professional triathlete for the past 20 years. She started competing at a time when many pros are starting to think about transitioning out of the sport. That’s never deterred her, though. Dede doesn’t care that her competitors are often half her age. Because she is the one with persistence and determination. And she has the trophy case to show for it: Dede is a three-time Ironman champion, a three-time Top 10 finisher at Ironman Kona, and was the top American finisher in Kona twice. Her current favorite event: the Ultraman. Dede completed her first Ultraman event — a three-day, 320-mile event that includes a 10K swim and 91-mile bike ride on the first day, a 171-mile bike ride the second day, and a double marathon on the third day — in 22 hours, 48 minutes, and 31 seconds, smashing the world record by more than an hour. When she’s not on the swim, bike, or run, Dede is a commentator for Ironman. She lives in Boulder, CO, with her husband, dogs, and scooter.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Dede happy right now (5:00)
  • What Dede’s training for right now (7:55)
  • All about 8-year-old Dede’s life-changing summer camp experience (21:15)
  • How Dede has dealt with pressure and expectations (29:00)
  • Dede’s early career working on Wall Street (38:40)
  • What it’s like standing on start lines next to competitors who are half Dede’s age (48:00)
  • Dede’s advice for longevity in sport (51:10)

For more, check out:

Dede’s TEDxBoston Talk!

Kate Fagan on Episode 528 of the Ali on the Run Show

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