Sarah Piampiano: A Mainah on the Rise

One of the great success stories in triathlon in 2015 has been the comeback of Sarah Piampiano. I met Sarah at a training camp in Santa Monica at Tower 26 in 2011. Sarah is also a fellow Mainah. The first memory I have of meeting Sarah is rubbing elbows with her in the pool doing some fast 25s with no lane lines. I tried to push Sarah into the swimmer next to her and she didn’t give an inch! It was a foretelling of things to come for her in her triathlon career.

Towards the end of 2014 Sarah was racing in Ironman Texas when on the run she felt severe pain in her leg. She limped her way to the finish line. It turns out that Sarah had a stress fracture of her femoral neck. In layman’s terms she had a break in the neck of the ball and socket joint of her leg bone into her pelvis. She could not weight bear for an extended time for a good part of 2014, endured physical therapy and then started training again. All with the knowledge that racing again at her previous level may not be possible. Her training had a very slow progression to ensure that the injury did not come back.

Sarah’s next goal was to qualify for Kona. She achieved this goal but did it mcuh later in the season. She arrived in Kona with a new plan with her coach Matt Dixon. The plan was to back off from her speedy bike pace in the last 40km to save her legs for the run. Turned out to be the right plan. Sarah had the second fastest run of the day in Kona of 3:06:33(Fastest run was 3:06:25!). She was picking off people left and right in the last 10 miles of the race. At the finish line she was 7th at the World Championships. She took some time off and then resumed training for Ironman Western Australia. She turned in another great race and grabbed her first Ironman victory. Her story of perseverance, trusting the process and going for it on the big stage is one for everyone to remember and learn from to apply to their own athletic journey!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Here is to a 2016 filled with chasing your dreams!

Here is a link to a Portland Press Herald article on Sarah: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/12/27/cumberland-native-dumps-smoking-drinking-to-become-pro-triathlete/

Copyright © 2016 Todd Larlee