Jeanni 'Little Metz' Metzler

About Little Metz
Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Living in Boulder Colorado with my husband, Justin Metzler, and our dog Milli! Jeanni Metzler is a multiple 70.3 winner who most recently placed 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 St. George, September 18th, 2021. Born and raised in South Africa, she now lives and trains alongside her husband and fellow pro Justin Metzler in Boulder, and she has claimed emotional victories in both locations. Tracing her journey to Colorado, she says: “My cousin got me into road cycling when I was about 17 and then introduced me to a local triathlon group in Johannesburg, the rest was history!” She won her age group at her first 70.3 race in Buffalo City, East London in 2011. Taking up the chance to be a professional in 2012 as she turned 20, she had to make a drastic decision to give herself the best chance of success. Jeanni explains: “I left South Africa with pretty much nothing – but, with the support of my family, I was able to make a life for myself as a professional athlete in the United States.” The first couple of years were tough, but her breakthrough moment came late in 2015 when she won IRONMAN 70.3 Austin thanks to a storming run. This was to become a common theme. Jeanni came back a year later to defend her title and then won the inaugural 70.3 Xiamen race that November. She was on her way now, and the wins started to stack up.
In 2017 there were four 70.3 titles at Liuzhou, Monterrey, Boulder and Los Cabos, as well as a first top-10 in the 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga. Just for good measure, she grabbed a Challenge Iceland title too. But it was the triumph in her adopted home of Boulder which struck a chord and showed how far she’d come. She had previously been sixth in 2015 and runner-up in 2016. There were also two significant returns to her country of birth in 2018, first to win 70.3 South Africa (at the scene of that 2011 age-group success) and then to place seventh in the 70.3 World Championship at Port Elizabeth. 2019 meanwhile saw her add full-distance racing into the mix, with a third to Daniela Ryf on her IRONMAN debut at Texas. It has been an incredible journey so far and she is keen to give lots of credit to her family for enabling her to follow her dreams, particularly her mum. “I grew up looking up to her; she was a great runner and is a very strong woman. I now want to get the very best out of myself, and I am in pursuit of my potential.”

  • Boulder, CO

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