Jesse Thomas started in endurance athletics as an Oregon State Track and Cross Country Champion, eventually competing in much nicer weather for Stanford University’s powerhouse Track & Field and Cross Country Teams. At Stanford, he was an NCAA All-American and School Record Holder in the 3000m Steeplechase while attaining both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
Upon graduating in 2003, Jesse left competitive athletics to make his millions starting a high-tech consumer products company, Ardica Technologies. After four years of crazy startup life (and no millions), the itch to compete brought him to triathlon, where he showed promise in a one-year stint in 2007, including a USAT AG National Championship and a 6th place finish at the ITU AG World Championships, winning bronze in the 25-29 category.
Jesse then accepted a Graduate Teaching Fellowship to pursue an MBA at the top-ranked Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. Slightly underestimating the time involved in attaining an MBA, he expected to continue training and competing in triathlon, but ended up taking a two-year break.
Deciding not to chase the big bucks of corporate management, 2010 marks the first time Jesse will be focused on competing, where he hopes to chase the little bucks of triathlon by making a run at top finishes initially in the 70.3 and long course distances, and when he learns how to swim (fast), maybe some ITU stuff.
Jesse is also an independent consultant, specializing in marketing and product development for small businesses and startups, www.leapdayconsulting.com. He is a Board Member of the newly formed Professional Triathlon Association (PROTA). He likes eating and watching movies, particularly at the same time, currently resides in Eugene, Oregon, and is married to a much better athlete than himself, professional distance runner Lauren Fleshman.