Cecilia Davis-Hayes



Nickname: CDH

Current Location: New York, NY

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you get your start in triathlon?

After a mediocre college running career (I wasn't meant to run every day) and a thrilling career as bike racer that ended with a broken pelvis, I went back to the drawing board to reinvent myself as an athlete. I never guessed that I'd be a much better runner and cyclist than when I focused singly on one sport! 

Education and Career

  • Williams College: undergraduate, Phi Beta Kappa

  • Columbia University: medical school, MD expected May 2019

Athletic Highlights

  • 3rd place NYC Triathlon

  • 4th place Waco 70.3 (fastest bike split)

  • 4th place Buenos Aires 70.3/ South American 70.3 Champs (and fastest bike split)

What is your favorite race moment or finish?

“Probably my win at Olympic age group (25-29) nationals. It was my 3rd triathlon ever and extremely inexperienced but wanted it SO bad. The swim was a disaster - my first time in a wet suit, terrible chafing, goggles got kicked, got swum over, etc. 7 minute deficit into the bike, but I didn't lose a beat and maintained confidence. Clocked 59 minutes for 25 miles and caught all but six women. Ran a gutsy 10K to catch 'em all, last one in the finishing chute.”

Hobbies or Pursuits Outside of Triathlon

Swing dancing, cooking with SCA farm share, traveling, book club

Interesting Facts about Cecilia

  • I hiked the length of the Pyrenees Mountains from Atlantic to Mediterranean (500 miles) in Summer 2011 with my dad.

  • I lived in rural France (in the town of Verdun, in Lorraine) for a year after college,where I was the only female member of the cycling club there!

  • I'm a registered member of the Osage Nation, my grandfather's grandmother was a full-blooded Osage Indian

Support Crew

Family, friends, pets. How they make a difference!

Dad: The guy who got me into sports. My athletic role model. Ran a 100-miler trail race this summer at age 59. Picked up road cycling at 55. But yet has such great perspective- never stresses about a missed workout, enjoys life. I love trading race fantasies, workout and race stories/ successes with him.

Fiancé, Erik: Never competed a day in his life, but understands and supports my passion so whole-heartedly. My companion for "endurance" road bikes rides. Tolerates and even uses the "home gym" section of our 1 bedroom apartment!

Why Purple Patch?

“I've never had a coach I trusted so much. I remember toeing the start line many times without confidence that I "did the right things" to prepare for the upcoming race, which is the worst feeling. It's the opposite with Matt. I think that trust and confidence comes from my global understanding of and whole-hearted agreement with his philosophy for training and racing. He gets that there are a million variables that an athlete could focus on/ worry about, but that you can only choose a few to be the center of attention. I think he chooses the right ones. I never look at a workout and think, "This is absolutely absurd, I'm not doing this." There are certainly times when I think, "This is going to be flipping hard, but I always believe that if he thinks it's a good idea for me to try it, I'll give it my best shot." Finally, as someone with a busy medical school schedule, and lately traveling around the country for interviews, he really has lived up to his reputation as the coach for the "time-starved triathlete." He has nailed it and made things optional when scheduling is tight, made clear the workouts that are priority and made thriving in training and life really seem achievable rather than overwhelming.”