Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 5, 2023

Brandie Hoban’s 10-Year Stansbury Days Triathlon Reign 

Brandie Hoban came out of the water for the half mile swim portion of the Stansbury Days Triathlon on August 19 in fifth place—nearly three minutes behind the leader, Christina Eddy.

That didn’t dissuade Hoban, a long-time Stansbury Park resident. After a quick transition to the bike, Hoban took off on the 12.4-mile ride through Erda and back to Stansbury in 35 minutes and 38 seconds. From there, it was a 3.1 mile run from the Clubhouse to Stansbury Park Elementary School and back which she completed in a fast 23:52.

Cheers erupted from the crowd as Hoban sprinted to the finishing line with a total time of 1:13:57 and extended her 10-year streak winning the event. 

Since 2014, no woman has beat Hoban at the Stansbury Days Triathlon. Her nine wins in 10 years—there was no race in 2020 due to the pandemic—is an impressive feat, one that even surprises Hoban.

“I joke that my superpower is I’m mediocre at everything,” says Hoban. “They say if you want to win a tri, you do it on the bike and just hold on to the lead in the run. I’m never the first one out of the water, but if I come out relatively close, then I can pass the fast swimmers on the bike.”

Which is exactly what Hoban—a Washington state native and Boise State University graduate—has done to keep her Stansbury Days tri streak alive. 

“I love Stansbury Days because it’s a local race and I know so many of the people,” she says. “I also like that I can win it for Stansbury. This is my home turf and I know the course so well. Plus, I get to see all my neighbors.”

Hoban first dipped her toe into triathlons at the 2013 Stansbury Days triathlon—which also happened to be the year of the big fish die off. Living on the lake with her husband, Mike, and two children, Mick and Brianna, Hoban was hesitant to swim in the water, but she had a plan:

“Don’t put my face in the water,” Hoban says. “Then I had Big Gulps cups full of fresh water so when I got out, I gave myself a fresh water shower.”

That plan added a lot of transition time to the bike. Still, Hoban wound up finishing sixth in her very first triathlon. She figured if she could learn to swim correctly—and put her face in the water—there was a good chance she could win.

“I could run and bike, I just needed to get the swim component down, so I hired a swim coach,” Hoban says. “Then I put my face in the water, worked hard and the next year I won it.” 

And she’s been hooked ever since.

“My first year winning was probably my favorite because while I wanted to win, my friends said I could win it. They gave me the support I needed,” Hoban says. “They believed I could before I believed I could.” 

After that first triathlon, Hoban continued to race in different events—so many she’s lost count. Her “hobby room” is filled with racks of medals so heavy they’re nearly coming off the wall, trophies, and other race memorabilia. Even narrowing down a favorite is difficult. She’s completed a handful of half Ironman races in Boise and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; St. George, Utah; and earlier this year in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In the fall of 2019, she signed up for a full Ironman—a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run. The pandemic pushed the race back, before being canceled altogether. 

But in September 2021, after months of training, Hoban completed Ironman Wisconsin with a time of 13:20:04 finishing 25th in her age group out of 116 competitors.

“I’m better at shorter distances—sprint or Olympic—are my sweet spots,” Hoban says. “Once they get longer, I’m slower relative to my age group. They’re a good challenge, though. I would definitely do another full Ironman.”

Hoban does some sort of activity every day and tries to run at least one race a month. In the week after the Stansbury Days triathlon, she ran in the last Wasatch Trail Series race of the season and the Nebo Half Marathon. Both of which she’s using as training runs for her next big feat: qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Big Cottonwood Marathon on September 9.

“Since I aged up to a new age group, the Boston qualifying time is 3:50. I’ve run one marathon under that time and figured I should give it a try,” Hoban says.

It seems she’s always in training mode, hitting up the local trails along the Oquirrhs, her mischievous Blue Heeler Jax along for the adventure. Or you might see Hoban on a long bike ride to Ophir or Mercur—something she does at least once a year. Heading up to Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Mountains or Barneys Peak in the Oquirrhs, are a few of the yearly local traditions Hoban looks forward to.

But she also likes to get away from home and travel the world.

In late 2022, Hoban and her husband, Michael, along with three other couples from Stansbury, spent four days hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. Porters helped carry their supplies and other items.

“They worked so hard and had shoes that were falling apart, so I told Carlos, the leader of our expedition, that I’d send him shoes for the porters,” Hoban says. 

She was able to collect a big box of at least 30 pairs of shoes from Tooele County residents and had them shipped.

Whether in Peru, Chattanooga, Boise, or anywhere in between, Hoban makes a point to get out on a run, bike, or swim. At home, she’s made being active in the community a part of her lifestyle.

Hoban sees fellow early morning swimmers at Pratt Aquatic Center, cyclists churning out miles to Tooele, and runners getting in miles through Stansbury. She respects the community of athletes, especially those who get hooked on triathlons through Stansbury Days, just like she did.

“I love that the community embraces the tri and the kids tri,” Hoban says. “And I appreciate the volunteers and everyone who runs the tri every year because it’s a lot of work.”

As for her Stansbury Days triathlon streak, Hoban hopes to keep it going. She felt the pressure when she won three years in a row and each year she gives the race everything she’s got.

“Next year I’m going to line up more triathlons to keep the streak alive,” Hoban says. “Women tend to peak athletically in their mid-30s. I’m in my mid-40s and still going strong.”

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