‘Smokin’ Joe’ Gambles and IRONMAN 70.3 success go hand-in-hand, the Australian has topped the podium on the 70.3 circuit 13 times in his career to date - including five victories at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder between 2011 and 2016.
It is no surprise the British-born triathlete has enjoyed numerous triumphs at the Colorado event, he lives locally and trains with several other pro triathletes. His other major accolades include a bronze medal at the 2013 70.3 World Championship, victories at Ironman Wisconsin and Rev3 Quassy and a silver (2011) and bronze (2017) at the ITU Long Distance World Championship.
Joe began racing at an elite level when he was just 16 – he says he turned to triathlon because he wasn’t fast enough to become a professional runner. He is also one of the few professional long-distance triathletes in the world whose diet is 100% plant-based.
Gambles’ favourited discipline is the run and his least is the swim - not for athletic reasons though - more because he can’t have a conversation while doing it!
Joe lists his sporting heroes as basketball legend Michael Jordan and fellow triathlete Tim Reed. However, he does describe the time he shaved his head to discover he had the same hairline as his idol Reed as the most embarrassing moment of his career to date.
Gambles’ most painful experience in the sport was racing Rev3 Quassy without socks during the run stage, leading to multiple blisters and blood gushing from his feet - he couldn’t stop though as he was leading the race.
Despite his notable success in the sport, Joe’s proudest life moment was becoming a father and he is driven by finding out where his limit is. He clearly hasn’t managed it just yet.
The best advice Joe has been given in his career is “learn to run downhill fast” and “not to race the IRONMAN distance”. It’s safe to say he ignored the latter!