Carmel Valley duathlete places third at Worlds

Carmel Valley’s Judi Carbary won the bronze medal in her 65-69 age group in the sprint duathlon at the 2017 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Multisport World Championships Festival in Penticton, British Columbia on Aug. 19. Carbary was just 47 seconds from second place.

Judi Carbary at the ITU Multisport World Championships in British Columbia.
Judi Carbary at the ITU Multisport World Championships in British Columbia.

“It was pretty close,” said Carbary, who didn’t even realize she had placed until talking to others after the finish line. “I didn’t even think I was going to do that well so it was a surprise. It’s very competitive at Worlds, people are out for blood.”

The race was a 5K (3.1 miles) run, followed by 20K (12.4 miles) on the bike and wrapped up with a 2.5K (1.5 mile) run. It was unexpectedly a very hilly course for Carbary with a 14 percent grade for over three miles — the course was a loop so on the way back there was a steep downhill.

“I hadn’t trained for that but I still beat everyone up the hill,” Carbary said.

Adding to the challenge of the course, the weather was hot and the air was smoky due to a wildfire in British Columbia.

August’s race was Carbary’s seventh World Championship appearance, her second in the last two years. In 2016, Carbary placed third in the Duathlon World Championships in Aviles, Spain. She shaved six seconds off of her time last year.

“I was excited to get a bronze medal at World’s again and I was really close to second so I was glad,” Carbary said.

Carbary has qualified to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Multisport World Championships in Odense, Denmark after placing first in the USA National Draft Legal Sprint Duathlon in Bend, Oregon in June.

“Denmark will be another fun experience,” Carbary said. “I like to travel with the races so it’s a good excuse to go somewhere.”

A triathlete and duathlete for 32 years, Carbary started out by running recreationally in college and did her first triathlon in Pennsylvania in 1985. She taught herself to swim and for many years bicycling was her strength but she is finding she runs faster than many in her age group.

Judi Carbary with her medal.
Judi Carbary with her medal.

Carbary is also the dedicated coach of the San Diego Youth Triathlon Team and created the SoCal Youth Triathlon Series to inspire the younger generation to compete in the sport she loves. Carbary tailors her own training and racing around her kids’ schedules and was able to work in five multi-sport races of her own this year. Her last race this year, “for fun,” will be the Life Time Triathlon on Oct. 15 in Mission Bay. Formerly known as the Esprit de She and SheRox, the race is coed although it is still predominantly female.

During the season, Carbary holds training sessions and clinics for her young triathletes — her team recently raced to podium finishes at last weekend’s Mission Bay Triathlon.

As some kids are afraid of open water, she set up a triathlon in a pool for next year. The San Diego Kids & Family Splash and Dash will be held at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center on March 24, 2018 and buoys will be placed in the pool for the course so it will mimic the feel of an open water swim. To learn more about the triathlon series and San Diego Youth Triathlon Team, visit