Biography

Defending the Ironman Florida title in 2011 . Photo by Richard Freer.

Defending the Ironman Florida title in 2011 . Photo by Richard Freer.

Jessica Jacobs completed her first Ironman triathlon in Switzerland in 2003 as an age-group amateur athlete, and while serving as a Transportation Logistics Officer in the U.S. Army. Despite a 140.6 mile race day that included 4 flat tires and a torrential downpour, Capt. Jacobs finished and was officially “hooked” on triathlon. She had completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and full 26.2-mile marathon in 13 hours, 21 minutes.

A Wisconsin native and Green Bay resident, she ran track and cross country at Green Bay’s Preble High School and ran collegiately for the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, earning her degree in Exercise and Sports Science through an ROTC Scholarship.

After a few years of training and racing triathlons, Jessica qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2005. She completed the race in 11:51, a mere ten weeks after giving birth to daughter Kasey. In 2007, with some outstanding race results in-hand and with the support of her family and Army-officer husband, Jessica retired from the military and became a professional triathlete.

Now in her 7th season as a professional, she has raced in every imaginable condition, from the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi to the chilly waters of Ironman Coeur d’Alene (Idaho), and everything in between.

Jessica is a 3-time Ironman Champion, having claimed victories at Ironman Wisconsin (2011), and Ironman Florida (2010 and 2011).

Ironman Wisconsin 2011, held on September 11, was a particularly significant race for Jessica, and one filled with emotion. Her husband, US Army Major, Michael (Jake) Jacobs was listening to the race online from his base in Iraq, as Jessica erased an 11-minute deficit during the marathon portion of the race to take the win. At the finish line, with her daughter by her side, the retired US Army officer delivered a stirring message to the fans, and crossed the line as she does at every Ironman, proudly carrying the American flag.

Following that effort, a historic finish to the 2011 season was in store at Ironman Florida. Jacobs not only won that race and defended her 2010 title, but became the 13th fastest woman in the history of Ironman, smashing the Florida course record with a finishing time of 8:55:10 that included a 2:53 marathon.

Jessica is also a 2-time winner of the Mercedes Marathon (2009 and 2010) and has numerous duathlon and triathlon victories at other race distances. Her 2012 race season included strong finishes at Ironman New Zealand and Ironman Melbourne, and she claimed three Ironman 70.3 titles including Florida, Racine, and Steelhead. She qualified and once again in 2012 competed for the title at the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Jessica often says that while training and racing professionally is a big part of her life, it is far from being the only thing that defines her. She is very much a “working mom,” albeit one with an unusual occupation, and she is actively involved in taking care of daughter Kasey, spending time with family and friends, and supporting her husband as a military spouse. 

Jessica is also an Ambassador for Team RWB (Red, White & Blue), a non-profit organization which seeks to re-integrate our wounded warriors back into society through training and racing. She also volunteers her time for My Team Triumph, Wisconsin Chapter, a group which enables the physically challenged to participate in triathlons and road races.

New in 2014 for Jessica is her involvement with TriCozumel and the D.O.V.E. Project. This organization promotes a message of saying No to D.rugs, O.besity, and V.iolence through E.ducation among the world's youth. This is a meaningful new addition to Jessica's schedule, and her travels with D.O.V.E. in Cozumel, Mexico presented a great opportunity for her to give of her time and talents to help others.

Jessica is fortunate and grateful to be sponsored and fueled by some of the top triathlon manufacturers in the world. 

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