At the opening ITU World Cup in Mooloolaba James Seear held the lead until very late into the run before eventually finishing third. At the 2009 ITU Dextro Energy U23 World Championships finals he narrowly missed out on the very top of the podium and the well traveled young Aussie with a passion for speed and classic cars is certainly someone to watch moving forward.
Slowtwitch: In race results you are always listed as James Seear, but on facebook you are Jimmy Seear. What gives?
James: When I lived in the USA I was always called James and never anything else. Then my first swim session here in Australia my swim coach asked me my name and I responded James and he responded "in you get Jimmy" and it stuck. I believe more people know me as Jimmy.
ST: Well Jimmy, it sounds like you spent quite a bit of time in the USA.
Jimmy: I did spend some time in the USA. My dad worked for a mining company and he got transferred from South Africa to America. We lived in Pennsylvania for 6 years before we moved to Australia for my dads work. I enjoyed the White Christmas and snow season but now I am adjusted to the warm sunshine of Australia.
ST: You lived in South Africa too?
Jimmy: I did live in South Africa. My sister and I were both born in Johannesburg and we lived there until I was about 5, then moved to England for about half a year while my dad got set up in the USA and then we joined him. My parents are both British and we have traveled a lot and I have to say I am extremely lucky and blessed to have seen so much of the world.
ST: 3rd place at the ITU World Cup in Mooloolaba is a nice start to the year.
Jimmy: Very much so. I have been training very hard over the past few months and I went into the race feeling strong and confident. I am ecstatic with the result it was a great way to start the season now I just need to build on it over the year.
ST: You and Josh Amberger broke away on the bike and got back first to T2 with a 1:38 lead. How much time did you think you needed?
Jimmy: I knew we had around 90 seconds and that is a very nice gap but when you have the likes of Brad, Courtney, Stuart, Ivan and Dan Wilson chasing you on the run it is hard. I thought it was going to be close and I had just enough time but I just missed out by a few seconds. Maybe next time I will run that bit quicker and hold on.
ST: When did you drop Amberger?
Jimmy: We came off the bike together and I had a fantastic change over and I was out. He had some trouble with his bike staying in the rack so I had a gap on him straight away. It would have been good if we did run together for a bit as we could of worked together to pace each other. It takes a lap or so on the run to find the legs after a hard bike.
ST: You guys are pretty good friends, correct?
Jimmy: Yes Josh and I are great friends and have been training together for about 4 years, its easy as we get on very well. We push each other at training to the limits and work off each other. We can also have fun away from training. I owe a lot to Josh for his support at training and in races. He is a great mate who I admire and have huge respect for.
ST: The World Champion ITU event in Sydney is coming up soon. Do you feel ready?
Jimmy: I do feel good going into the race. Mooloolaba was a great lead in race to blow the cob webs out and racing in front of a home crowd always makes you lift that bit more. I am excited to race on the course that hasn’t been used for about 10 years but has a great history.
ST: Much harder than Mooloolaba?
Jimmy: It will be more challenging than Mooloolaba as the field will be stronger again and also the course is hilly similar to Mooloolaba but is a bit more technical. With buildings around the wind could be more of a factor.
ST: How much of a trip is it for you from Brisbane to Sydney. I assume your flying?
Jimmy: It is close, only a short flight around an hour and a half. It isn’t a long trip and I haven’t been to Sydney for a few years so looking forward to going back. It is an amazing city that is always a must for tourists.
ST: Tell us how you got involved with triathlon.
Jimmy: I use to pool swim at school and compete in cross-country and track running just for fun. I then decided I was a bit bored of pool swimming and I could run ok so I decided to give Noosa Kids Triathlon a go in 2001. My sister joined me and I have never looked back.
ST: So I guess both you and Maxine got bitten by the tri bug.
Jimmy: Yes we both got the bug. We used to swim together and my sister was much more successful than I at swimming. When I decided to try the Noosa Kids Triathlon she thought she would participate as well. It was great to start together and grow with each other. It is a great way of having respect for each other and we support each other immensely. She is a sporting icon to me and it is great to be able to travel all over the world and she is close by.
ST: What would you consider your best result to date?
Jimmy: That is a hard question. Mooloolaba is near the top with a 3rd place in an Elite World Cup and a 2nd place at the Under 23 World Championship. I think 2009 was my most memorable year with a lot of great results. Mooloolaba had the best crowd support.
ST: What does your training look like?
Jimmy: Training is a full time job. I have 3 sometimes 4 sessions a day and I have a rest day when I work at a bike shop just to give me a mental break more than anything. I cover around 35km of swimming, 350km riding and around 110km running in a week with 3 gym sessions.
ST: How are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?
Jimmy: I have had some help from some friends approaching companies. For 2010 I have a very good team behind me and I am about to launch a website which will help give my supporters some extra exposure. My website will be online in around 2 weeks at www.jamesseear.com. IOOF is my title sponsor this year and I am looking forward to the support from them over the next few years. I am riding on Cervelo Bikes with Shimano parts and have Saucony for my feet on the run. I have great nutritional support from Shotz, which is an Australian company.
ST: Do you follow other sports?
Jimmy: I do I follow motorsports, swimming, cycling, running and many others. I really enjoy watching the Olympics and Winter Olympics. It shows you a lot of sports you don’t normally watch and it is great to see the worlds best competing.
ST: What about your diet?
Jimmy: I have an amazing nutritionist guiding me in the right direction. Greg Cox he is the author of a few sport nutrition books. He is an amazing athlete himself even if he doesn’t like to admit it. I have a diet that helps me keep my weight under control and at a good race weight. It includes a lot of meat, vegetables and fruit.
ST: Can you talk about music?
Jimmy: This is always a source of entertainment when people go through my Ipod playlist. I have a very wide variety but I am a big fan of older music from the 60’s through to the 80’s. Top of the play list would include: Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Cream, Phil Collins and Wendy Mathews. I also listen to a wide variety of modern music.
ST: What was the last book you read?
Jimmy: The incomplete history of WW2. It really made me appreciate how much the soldiers went through. I followed up the book with the DVD series Band of Brothers. It makes you realize what you have and gain immense respect for our elders.
ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Jimmy: I would love to be still competing at a competitive international level. With Olympic representation and also hopefully many great results. I would also like to be competing in historic rallies in my Alfa Romeo that I’m restoring with my dad. Hopefully one of his cars will be done then as well.
ST: What kind of Alfa are you restoring?
Jimmy: I am restoring a 1966 Alfa Romeo 1750 - it is a step nose 105 model. In a perfect world I would like to turn it into a modern version of the GTA racing version. My dad has always wanted one but never found the time to buy and restore one. I also bought it to help motivate my dad to finish of his cars. He has been restoring an Aston Martin DB2.4 and a Lotus 7 series one for around 25 years so I think it is time we finished some of them and enjoy them on some track or hill climb events.
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Jimmy: Triathlon is my life but it is not everything. I enjoy life away from the sport as well. I am a strong believer in what ever you do in life you have to enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you wont execute it with full commitment.