Tanelle Berard has been successful in junior elite triathlon for a few years now. This year, the 20-year-old college student is making the jump to the pro field. We are excited to help sponsor her as she focuses on triathlon after giving up her track and cross country scholarship at University of Northern Colorado.
We hope you will follow her season with us as she chases her goal to make it to U23 Worlds this fall. Come back and read her race reports and offer her your support!
3/16/2013 Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup, Sarasota, Florida
4/28/2013 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, St. Petersburg, Florida
5/19/2013 5150 Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
6/1/2013 Dallas ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup, Dallas, Texas
6/23/2013 Copper Creek Triathlon (Sprint), Pleasant Hill, Iowa — Storms converted it to 5K race.
7/21/2013 Geneva ITU Triathlon European Cup, Geneva, Switzerland
8/4/2013 Istanbul ITU Triathlon European Cup, Istanbul, Turkey
8/11/2013 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup, Tiszaujvaros, Hungary
8/17/2013 Pigman Olympic Triathlon, Palo, Iowa
9/14/2013 ITU U23 World Championships, London, England (dependent on qualification/selection)
Living in West Des Moines, Iowa, Tanelle began swimming competitively at the age of six, and particularly enjoyed the longest event allowed for each age group as she got older. She started cross county in middle school because she wanted to be involved in school sports and school swimming at that age wasn't at the same level as the club she was already in. She continued swimming and cross country through high school, making it to the state championships in both sports.
Her coaches encouraged her to take up biking in addition, and her swim coach put her in touch with Coach Jenny Weber of the Z3 Tri Team. Her first race was the 2008 Hy-Vee Triathlon USAT Junior Elite Cup. "I finished 8th place. I was top two out of the water, got rocked on the bike, and was able to pull a few people back on the run. From there, I knew what I had to focus on: the bike." She did focus and started to become more competitive as the season went on.
In 2009, Tanelle began to finish in the top of the field and qualified for the USAT Junior Elite National Championship, where she won the race! "The first time I won nationals was my favorite moment as an athlete because it was a complete surprise for me—there was no pressure. I just went out there, raced, and had the time of my life!"
2010 was the year she began to race internationally, which was more difficult. Tanelle's story is one of continually pushing herself into new challenges. She again won USAT Junior Elite National Championship and this year was selected to race in the ITU Junior Triathlon World Championships for Team USA. She finished 7th on the world stage.
She made the decision to turn pro because she aged out junior racing and felt it was time to start climbing the elite ranks. "The transition is super tough, but I am loving the challenge of harder swims, bikes, and runs." Her first pro race was 2013 Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup where she finished 10th out of 24 starters.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Tanelle says, "My goals are to compete at U23 Worlds and keep improving though the elite fields to reach my full potential as an endurance athlete."