At the XTERRA European Championship this weekend, the Czech Republic’s Jindnska Zemanova is out to defend her XTERRA European age group title on her home turf.
At the 2018 XTERRA European Championship in Germany, Zemanova won her 35-39 age group and was the second amateur female in the race, just 90 seconds behind Pavlina Vargova. At the 2018 XTERRA World Championship in Maui, Zemanova was the XTERRA World Champ in her age group, winning the bracket by more than 27 minutes.
“At this year’s XTERRA European Championship, I hope to vindicate my age-group title,” said Zemanova, who chooses to be an amateur because she loves the sport. “Triathlon is my passion. And I don’t want to be under pressure of the results. I’m just happy to race and have fun.”
The XTERRA European Championship returns this year to the birthplace of XTERRA in Europe, in Prachatice, Czech Republic. The 11th stop on the jam-packed 14-event XTERRA European Tour will dish out $30,000 in prize money and 51 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for amateurs.
Typically, Zemanova’s day begins before 7 AM, when she takes her son to kindergarten and then heads to work. At 3 PM, she heads to her workout.
“I train about 10 hours a week,” she said. “If it’s a weekend and I don’t have a race, I’ll go for a long ride. Caring for my family is my priority, but then I have my fun, thanks to the support of my mom and my husband.”
Last year, Zemanonva won her age group at XTERRA Czech last July as well as the XTERRA European Championship and the XTERRA World Championship. This year, so far, she won her age group at XTERRA Italy – Lake Garda, where she passed Segolene Leberon on the run and won by almost a minute.
“My goal for the XTERRA European Championship is to be to be in the top three. Although it would be better to win.”
Zemanova had her introduction to triathlon at the age of 15.
“My dad often raced triathlon and I joined him in races,” said Zemanova, who qualified for the Czech National Triathlon team as a junior. “Since 2003 I took a triathlon pause, but then I came back in 2017.”
In multi-sport fashion, Zemanova is a true all-around athlete. She is an excellent cyclist, gymnast, cross-country skier, alpine skier, and climber.
“My favorite leg of the triathlon is the bike, of course,” she said, which is almost a surprise because of her natural running ability. “As a cross-country cyclist and mountain biker, I love the XTERRA bike leg.”
At her essence, Zemanova is balanced as both a mother and an athlete. She trusts herself and eats what she wants, which includes a glass of wine most evenings, except the nights before a race.
“I’m a realist so I know that I’m not very young, but my dream is to be once again the XTERRA World Champion,” said Zemanova. “But not just in my age group, but to be the top amateur overall. And maybe someday to compete with the elites.”