My name is Dylan Gillespie, and I ride for Rolf Prima Wheels.
While pondering what to write about, I walked through my garage, noticing all the wheels and bikes hanging up from my amazing sponsors. I began reflecting by asking the question; how the heck did I get here? My heart filled with gratitude and thankfulness. It made me stand up a bit straighter, and reaffirmed the path I believe God has set me on. I don’t know the end result, maybe someday, but I do know, there’s a fire burning deep within, and that’s enough for me to keep pursuing athletics professionally. Here’s a snapshot of my journey to qualify for my first Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Finland on August 27th.
(Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz 2022)
Growing up I was a farm boy and the youngest of 3. My dad is a carpenter, and my mom, a Harley Davidson riding badass who can make an entire room laugh. My brother is one of the hardest working men I know. My sister: singer, songwriter, horse racer. Each one of them taught me something about life and how to work hard for things you want. When I was about 9 years old, I remember my dad telling my sister “you need to play until your fingers bleed, callus up, and make them bleed again and then you’ll start seeing the rewards.” That stuck with me my whole life. Not being a guitar player, I wanted to experience what that work ethic felt like (drawing blood) through the various different sports I played. I wanted to be something, someone, more than anything..different.
(Dad & Mom (mom always reminding me to not take life too seriously 💙) My wife Kendra)
About 6 years after that conversation between my dad and sister, I did my first sprint distance triathlon in 2009. I fell in love with the multisport lifestyle, quit all my other sports, and joined the swim team. Fast forward to 2018, I saw the years of blood, sweat, and tears pay off when I won Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene. This allowed me to race as a professional triathlete. An 11 year dream came true that day. Tears, joy, elation.
(2018 Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene Overall AG win)
Once I achieved that 11 year goal of becoming a pro athlete, I felt lost. I hadn’t set goals past becoming a pro triathlete. Did I have meaning, purpose, and passion behind what I was doing? Was becoming a pro just a status badge? Ego boost? Or was I truly called to be greater? To keep pushing on? I looked deep within myself, and after some time, I could honestly answer that there’s more, so much more. My Why became stronger. I began to reset goals for myself. Goals that scared me and would require every ounce of my attention.
(Hyalite Res - Bozeman, MT)
When 2022 rolled around I was showing steady progress each year. Rolf Prima took a chance on me, the same year I broke the 2 hour barrier in an Ironman 70.3 bike distance. For the number nerds out there I rode 56 miles in 1:58:58. That’s averaging 28.2 mph, holding 355 avg/360 NP at 4.5w/kg. This seems to be a standard bike split/w/kg in order to stay at the front of championship races. The key is to do this consistently! Easier said than done.
(White Lake Pro-AM - Riding w/Starky)
In 2023 I headed south to Tucson, AZ to train with Lionel Sanders. We chatted back in 2019 about training together and nothing came of it until November 2022 where we swam together for a week. We worked well together so he invited me to stay in his apartment with another pro, Trevor Foley, and I trained with them from January - February. It was a dream come true to be training with such high caliber athletes. Lionel is one of the kindest, most humble, and passionate guys I know. When you hang out with people greater than yourself it forces you to step up or step aside. I got fit and was ready for a big 2023!
(Tucson Training Camp - The guys - Lionel, Trevor, Ben, Lukas) (Ride w/Loren in Patagonia!)
I developed a minor injury towards the end of Tucson camp. I’m not surprised as I was training hard every day and that certainly takes a toll on your body. I couldn’t run for 5 weeks so I missed my first two races of the year, Clash Miami and Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. My buddy Lukas invited me to race with him in Peru and I couldn’t turn it down! I booked my flights and headed south. I was glad I did. Not only did I qualify for Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Finland, but I stepped on my first Ironman branded podium. What an honor that was. I rode well that day with my Rolf Prima Ares 6 and Ares Disc clocking a 2:00:06 bike split. Ticket punched!
(3rd place at Ironman 70.3 Peru - Qualifying for 70.3 Worlds)
My 2023 season has been amazing thus far. I am currently ranked 117th in the PTO world rankings and can taste that top 100. It’ll take a couple big performances to get there but I’m not rushing anything. I’ve got a lot of tread left in my triathlon career and can’t wait to see what the future holds. I want to thank Rolf Prima for believing in me and providing me with the best equipment out there. I have full confidence that the wheels underneath me can, and will, carry me to new heights. So here’s to racing fast at my first Ironman 70.3 World Championships! If a small town farm boy from Scandia, Minnesota can do it, you can too.
(15yo Dylan and his bud Tyler doing their first sprint triathlon) (The Finland weapon)
2023 Race Results
April 23rd - Ironman 70.3 Peru - 3rd place
May 6th - Ironman 70.3 St. George North American Championships - 9th place
June 10th - Ironman 70.3 Boulder, CO - 13th place
June 25th - Ironman Coeur d’Alene - 5th place
August 27th - Ironman 70.3 World Championships Finland - 33rd Place
August 27th - Ironman 70.3 World Championships Finland
November 4th - Ironman Florida
December 3rd - Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta