Leslie Battle is a proud five-year member of Ronald McDonald House Providence Running Club, who one will (more often than not) catch running the ‘extra mile’ at the end of practices. Her primary athletic focus, since 2009, has been multisport, which includes, for example, triathlon (swim/bike/run), duathlon (run/bike/run), aquabike (swim/bike), and aquathlon (swim/run). Leslie is unique in that she races competitively in all the various iterations of multisport, including winter triathlon (run/bike/x-ski), gravel duathlon, off-road duathlon, and in all of their distances: super-sprint (~5 miles), sprint (~15 mi.), Olympic (~31 mi.), long course (70.3 mi.), extended (100 mi.), and ultra-distance (140.6 mi.).
She is even a member of multi-time, national champion winning, mixed relay triathlon and duathlon teams, where each member completes a full triathlon before handing the baton off to the next member. To date, she has raced in over 300 multisport events across the globe and was inducted as a member of USA Triathlon’s Century Club as early as 2013 for completing 100 triathlons by the induction date. Along the way, Leslie has earned 26 USAT National Champion titles across the spectrum of multisport events, earning Event All American status from USAT for her performances. She has qualified to race internationally numerous times at World Triathlon Corporation events, including the 2015 Standard Distance Duathlon World Championships in Adelaide, Australia and the 2017 Aquathlon World Championships in Penticton, Canada.
Currently, she works to promote the interests of athletes as a member of USAT’s Age Group Committee, which includes weighing in on rules development and enforcement and advising with respect to hardship waivers for athletes interested in competing as part of Team USA internationally, or at USAT National Championship events. Leslie has earned Ironman All World Athlete (Bronze) status for successive years from The Ironman Corporation and qualified to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships twice (Nice, France 2019 and St. George, Utah 2021). This all is in addition to competing in local and large stage run only events; she qualified (3:49:40) to run the Boston Marathon in 2017, and earned medals in shotput and the 200 m in the 2020 New England Masters Indoor Track and Field meet.
One might think that with a resume so robust Leslie has always earned accolades for athleticism; this is not the entire story. Though she was a member of her high school track team, competing in hurdles, she was consistently a back of the packer then. You may ask, how did she get from there to who she is today? In the years after high school, while a Stecher and Andrews Scholar for classical violin performance at Wellesley College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Leslie studied European history, Medieval/Renaissance art, and music performance, then at Syracuse University College of Law, Brown University, and the American Institute of Insurance she studied law, business, and insurance, finally making her way to practice as Corporate Counsel in Warwick, RI, for MetLife Auto & Home and now for Farmers Insurance.
Exceeding expectations of others’ perceptions of her ability has always been a driving force ever since running her first half marathon in 2008, before having lost 100 pounds through moxie and gumption alone. The drive that took her from then until now, competing among the country’s and the world’s best athletes on some of the most challenging courses, is the same thing that fuels her passion today. For years now, Leslie has built community among, and advocated for, broader competitive opportunities for non-traditionally sized athletes, who, in the multisport world, are referred to as Athena (female 165+ pounds) and Clydesdale (male 220+ pounds) athletes. Leslie’s mantra: #dontcountusout, acts as a reminder to not prejudge anyone on the start line. Helping Athena and Clydesdale athletes build self-esteem through sport all while engendering respect from other athletes and the sporting community as a whole is what drives her to exemplify her one-time coach’s reminder that “one cannot lead where one does not go herself.” This vision continually motivates Leslie to lead by example, and to not just hit the snooze button when the 4:45 a.m., twice a week, RMHPRC alarm sounds off.