MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE
IT WAS HARD to take her seriously when she started all of this. She was 33 years old. She had travelled the world as a fashion model since she was 15, when she was somehow discovered by a modelling agency and, before she knew it, was on a plane to Japan all by herself. I wrote my first story about Jenny Fletcher because our photo editor really wanted to use a picture he’d found of her on the cover of the magazine. At that point she was racing as an “elite amateur” and had visions of trying to make it to the Olympics. After talking to her I began to take her a bit more seriously. Turns out she was actually a really good athlete. Growing up in Red Deer, Alta. she was one of those “do it all” kind of kids. Tap, jazz, ballet, horseback riding, track and field, volleyball, basketball – you name it, she was doing it. By the time she was 16 she
was competing on the Canadian modern pentathlon team, competing at both the junior and senior world championships.
Eventually trying to haul fencing equipment, riding gear and a gun around the world while on various modelling gigs was too much. She gave up the pentathlon dream and moved to New York where, when she wasn’t working, she spent her time as a “gym junkie.”
So, while it was a bit easier to envision that Fletcher could do well in the sport, I was never sure she would actually be able to make a career out of it. I’m happy to report that she most certainly has.
“I wanted to prove that I wasn’t just coming in as a pretty face,” she says. “I trained my butt off for four years with Siri Lindley. The first year [as a pro] was very humbling – you go from winning all your races as an amateur and then, in my first pro race, I found myself lined up next to Laura Bennett and Mirinda Carfrae. When I got out of the water my bike was the only one still on the rack. I was so humbled by the calibre of what it means to be a pro.”
What I hadn’t realized during that first interview and have now come to truly respect in Fletcher is her drive to succeed. She took her first pro title at Ironman 70.3 Branson in 2012 and has lots of top finishes on her resumé.
Last year, at 40, Fletcher figured she was in her final year of racing as a pro triathlete. She decided to get all her bucket list races out of her system, including her first full-distance race at Challenge Roth.
“In my head, by the time I got to October, I thought I was done,” she says. When she reached out to her sponsors, though, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were eager to support her for at least another year.
It was a smart move on their part. Fletcher started the 2017 season with a win at the Israman Triathlon in Israel. Fletcher, at 41, remains a sponsor’s dream. Not only does pretty much anything you put on her, or put her on, suddenly look really, really good, she’s also a fantastic spokesperson. She’s smart, very approachable and outgoing.
Jenny Fletcher might live in Los Angeles these days, but we’re very proud of the fact that she’s Canadian. She’s much more than just a pretty face. She’s exactly what we imagine of ourselves as triathletes – hard working, dedicated and addicted to the multisport life.