“Time for change…” Helen Jenkins recently announced her retirement from professional triathlon. “I made the decision a few months ago to stop racing triathlon professionally,” she stated on Instagram. “I don’t want a big song and dance about stopping racing, I don’t like a fuss! It’s not really in my nature to talk about my achievements, but I do want to draw a line under this part of my career in triathlon, celebrate the achievements, as I move onto the next phase,” Jenkins continues.
That “next phase” could involve commenting on livestreams of WTCS-races, World Cups and other triathlon events, as Jenkins has already been doing occasionally. The reason she decided to stop has all to do with a back injury that Jenkins sustained a few years ago. “In 2017 I had to have spinal fusion surgery and was told that it was highly unlikely that I’d be able to return to professional racing. So, in my eyes, everything that has come since that surgery has been a bonus. I first made a start line again in March 2020 with a fourth at Ironman 70.3 Dubai,” she told Tri247.
Jenkins explains that COVID-19 definitely made a comeback to the sport more difficult. When her back problems started to get worse again, she found it time to make the call and to not risk her future health for racing as an elite. “I only have one back and I want to be able to go running for years to come, pick up my kids, go surfing, continuing to enjoy life the way I always have.”
“I am, and will always be, a triathlete for life. Retirement doesn’t feel the right word. I may not be at the starting line-up anymore, but I will always swim, bike and run. I love training and feeling fit – it’s a part of me and keeps me happy”, she completes her retirement announcement.
Read an extensive interview with Jenkins on her retirement on Tri247.