Marc was one of the UK’s leading professional triathletes for 16 years, having represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games (2004) and Wales at the Commonwealth Games (2002 & 2006). At the Athens Olympics in 2004, Marc was famously involved in a crash on the bike leg, but rather than quit, he ran the two remaining kilometres carrying his broken bike to complete the event.
Marc was British champion multiple times, but after racing in Athens was diagnosed with genetic faults that had caused blood clots and pulmonary embolisms throughout his career.
His focus turned from racing individually to his partner (now wife) Helen, and he became her coach. Helen has since gone on to win two world titles and race at three Olympic Games.
Marc is recognised as one of the UK’s leading triathlon coaches and has worked tirelessly to support the development of the sport. In 2015, he was awarded the British Triathlon Federations Gold Pin Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution the sport.
- Name: Marc Jenkins
- Nickname: JINX
- Hometown: Bridgend
- Date of birth: 21 July 1976
- Height: 175cm
- Involved in triathlon since 1992
- Coach to Helen Jenkins
- Other professional activity: Property Developer
Early sporting life
Marc’s love of swimming and running led him to compete in surf lifesaving competitions until he was 15 years old when he found triathlon. Following encouragement from his uncle, a keen cyclist, and his two best friends, Marc entered his first competition which was a duathlon.
Marc developed as a triathlete and became British junior champion, but didn’t fully focus on the sport until he turned 20.
Junior to elite
Aged 20, Marc moved into the senior ranks and already competing at Olympic distance, he found it a relatively smooth transition. He competed in his first International Triathlon Union World Cup in Monte Carlo in 1997 but due to a mechanical fault on the bike, was unable to show his full potential. The following week, he travelled to Japan and finished 14th, a great result early in his career.
Marc went on to gain significant experience racing more World Cup events, and in just his second year as a senior, competed in his first World Championships in 1998 in Lausanne, Switzerland where he finished 14th. From there Marc became one of the world’s top triathletes through to his retirement from racing in 2010.
Major championship appearances
- British Championships: 2000 (1st) & 2003 (1st)
- Commonwealth Games: 2002 & 2006
- European Junior Championships: 1994, 1995 & 1996
- European Championships: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002 & 2003
- Olympic Games: 2004 (athlete), 2008, 2012 & 2016 (coach)
- Junior World Championships: 1994, 1995 & 1996
- World Championships: 1997-2004 (Olympic distance) and 2010 (sprint distance)
Top ten results
- 2000 – 1st Bournemouth Triathlon/British Champs
- 2001 – 7th Lausanne World Cup
- 2001 – 1st Abu Dhabi International Triathlon
- 2001 – 4th Corner Brook World Cup
- 2002 – 2nd Madeira World Cup
- 2002 – 10th European Championships
- 2002 – 8th Hamburg World Cup
- 2003 – 5th European Championships
- 2003 – 1st Swansea European Cup/ British Championships
- 2010 – 2nd Gamagori Asian Cup
- 2010 – 3rd Sendai Bay Asian Cup
The move to coaching
In 2007, Helen was struggling with recurring injuries, so Marc and Helen decided to work together to help her reach the top of the sport.
The coaching transition was a natural one for Marc who took his experience and understanding of triathlon and applied it to developing training and support to help Helen win two world titles and race at three Olympic Games.
In addition, Marc is aiming to help build the sport of triathlon in Wales so it’s more inclusive and open to athletes of all ages and abilities.
Marc is currently helping a number of age-group athletes achieve their potential and pass on his experience so newcomers to triathlon can learn from the knowledge he has gained over the 26 years he’s competed and coached at the highest level.
The person behind the athlete
Marc grew up in Bridgend where he was always active playing team sports at his schools, Pen y fai and Bryntirion. However, his real passions were the beach and surf lifesaving, running and swimming.
Still living in Bridgend, Marc loves live music, nice food, good wine, and most of all, the beach. With the support of their extended family, Marc and Helen are able to both coach, train and manage the logistics of a young family.
Marc’s primary goal at present is to focus on Helen’s return to elite competition – this has now become a family mission with Marc as her coach.
Ten things you didn’t know about Marc…
- Marc represented Great Britain in surf lifesaving, winning a silver medal in the XXX(?)
- Marc is a sucker for Chinese food. Especially when he’s tired!
- Marc is never happier than when he’s on a surfboard, or at the beach (Other than spending time with his wife and family of course).
- Marc has seen Trolls the movie more times than he can count – mainly because it is his daughter, Mali’s, favourite film.
- Marc is a certified chocoholic – he can’t keep chocolate in the house otherwise he will eat the lot.
- His favourite thing to cook is salmon risotto.
- Marc hates doing tourist stuff like site-seeing. On holiday he needs to be doing something more active.
- Marc hates being cold.
- Marc hates being late and always arrive early for flights, meetings, and anything that’s moderately important.
- Marc must have a plan for everything.