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Q&A: Sarah Groff
USA Triathlon National Team member Sarah Groff wrapped up her Olympic year with yet another top-10 finish in the ITU World Triathlon Series, placing ninth late last month in the Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand. Groff’s effort left her seventh in the final WTS rankings, which was good for the top spot for an American for the second straight year. Despite such a strong showing in the world’s top Olympic-distance race series, Groff’s 2012 season will be remembered for the amazing effort she put forth to earn a fourth-place finish at the Olympic Games.
USA Triathlon recently caught up with Groff, who is enjoying some well deserved time off from training.
USA Triathlon: Congrats on your finish in Auckland and another year as the top American in the ITU World Triathlon Series. What does it mean for you to have established yourself as such a consistent top performer in the world's top Olympic-distance series?
Sarah Groff: It is nice to finish well in the World Triathlon Series; consistency is always an important goal to achieve as an athlete. While it would have been great to finish higher in the Series, ending up seventh was a nice way to end an Olympic year.
USAT: Now that you've had some time to reflect on your amazing performance in London, how would you describe your Olympic Games experience?
SG: To be honest, I'm still processing the whole Games experience. I still haven't quite bounced back completely; nobody warns you that it is simultaneously the most exhausting and exhilarating journey you can imagine.
USAT: What are you most proud of about your 2012 season?
SG: I am proud that I was able to achieve my one goal of this year — to show up in London in a position to contend for an Olympic medal.
USAT: What did you learn this season that will make you a better triathlete in 2013 and beyond?
SG: I learned that I need to believe in myself more.
USAT: When do you turn your focus to preparing for 2013?
SG: I think I turned my focus to 2013 sometime in September.
USAT: Since you decided to part ways with your coach Darren Smith what do you plan to use as your training base going forward? Will you be spending more time in the U.S.?
SG: One of the biggest reasons for my move from my former coach is that I need to spend more time with my boyfriend than Darren’s camp structure allowed. Ben, who is a professional runner, and I will have to figure out a plan that works out well for both of our athletic ambitions. I will spend more time in the U.S. moving forward, but the details are still hazy.
USAT: With a long season behind you, what do you have planned for the next few weeks?
SG: Very little physical activity, beyond taking the dog on hikes and some yoga. I try to get as stir-crazy as possible on my break; I appreciate my return to training more!
USAT: What's the best part of the off-season for you?
SG: Spending more time with family, unpacking my bag and playing in the woods.