Zipp News

Back 3.9.2018

Meet New Zipp Pro Triathlete Alissa Doehla

Over the Thanksgiving holiday last year, rookie pro triathlete Alissa Doehla and her husband, Kyle, were feeling thankful. 

She had just landed a sponsorship deal for Zipp wheels, a grand achievement for a still-new triathlete. Alissa and Kyle stopped by the Zipp facility in Indianapolis as they drove home to North Carolina after visiting family in her native Indiana. She beamed as she toured the Zipp factory.  

Soon, she’d have even more reason to be happy. SRAM, Zipp’s parent company, after evaluating her results also added her as a sponsored athlete for 2018. That means she’d received additional support including a Zipp aero cockpit, SRAM RED eTap groupset, and Quarq power meter to go along with those Zipp wheels. 

It’s no wonder Alissa attracted sponsor attention. She had four consecutive podium finishes in Ironman® 70.3® races in 2017. Those results came little more than a year after she competed in her first ever triathlon aboard a borrowed bike. USA Triathlon named her 2017 Women’s Elite Rookie of the Year.

For Alissa, though, 2018 would begin with a horrific and despicable episode. 

In January, Alissa was struck by a vehicle near her home in North Carolina.  The driver fled the scene. She suffered two fractured vertebrae, a broken ulna, a broken metacarpal, a fractured medial femoral condyle, and a strained lateral ligament. A suspect has been arrested and criminal charges are expected, according to Alissa. She’s been in an arm cast and back brace, which she has had to wear during her walks and 25 minute-stationary bike sessions. She has recently been cleared to go in the pool for aqua-jogs. 

Alissa, though, is facing this setback with humor, gratitude, and determination.  

Recently she posted a photo on her Instagram account of Frankie, her very lanky – and very sleepy – Great Dane. Below the photo she wrote: “I almost just said, ‘man, Frankie really lives the life. Just laying around all day, eating and sleeping and going for one walk a day.’ Then I realized I am living that EXACT same life.”

It should be noted here that Frankie, whose real name is Frances, is the star of Alissa’s Instagram account. Alissa and Kyle picked a Great Dane because they wanted, but couldn’t get, a horse. Really. “I just think dogs just bring so much joy to your life,” she said.

Alissa also is thankful for a Good Samaritan passing motorist who saw the blinking light on her broken bike lying on the roadside and stopped to help, calling 911 and Alissa’s husband while trying to keep her calm. She’s grateful for the emergency workers, doctors and nurses who reassured her and treated her. 

Her focus is now on recovery. But she’s also trying to use this forced pause in training to exercise different parts of her mind.

“I’m trying to think of it positively. I just turned 32, and I’ve run really hard since I was 15,” she said. “There’s only so much Netflix you can watch. I’ve been trying (painting) watercolors. That’s been kind of fun.” She is also volunteering with her local chapter of Big Brother Big Sister, a charity her parents supported back in Indiana.  

Alissa’s drive as a competitive athlete keep her motivated to rebuild her strength. Although new to triathlon, she’s a proven endurance athlete. A professional runner from 2009 to 2015, she posted results including an eighth-place finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston with a time of 2:31:56.  

Alissa is specializing in the 70.3® distance. With her first triathlon (which she won) only two years ago, she’s still developing pacing and experience in the swim and on the bike. One big adjustment has been swimming in the ocean. “Swimming in a pool is totally different than swimming open water,” she said. 

This is a transition zone for Alissa. A still-new sport. A long healing process. Grateful and determined, she sees a new road on the horizon.

We wish Alissa the best as she builds toward her 2018 season. Follow her at and on Instagram @alissadoehla.