From Desk Job to World-Class Athlete

PROVO, Utah – Sep 06, 2019 – Under the blistering sun and in sweltering heat that reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hundreds of triathletes from around the world competed to be recognized as champions. Nearing exhaustion after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles, BYU Marriott alumna Skye Murphy Moench pushed on to complete the marathon-length run—and was the first professional female athlete across the finish line. Outperforming her competitors at the world-renowned IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany, Moench attributes her success to a life of hard work and commitment.

Growing up, Moench juggled a busier schedule than many of her peers. She ran track, excelled in her high school studies, and worked two jobs—all at the same time. “When I was fifteen, my mom told me that my family couldn’t pay for all of my college expenses, so I’d need to start working if I wanted to attend university and graduate without any debt,” Moench recalls. “I knew what I had to do.”

Moench graduated high school with a near-perfect GPA and enough money to begin schooling at BYU. She balanced her studies and work life right away, determined to be completely debt free upon graduation. She also pursued her passion for running and joined the BYU Triathlon Club. “I grew passionate about racing and getting faster,” she says. “Even though I couldn’t afford my own bike at first, I understood that if I put my time, energy, and mindset into my training, my effort would translate into solid performances.”

Meanwhile, Moench discovered another passion: accounting. “I’ve always been interested in being a part of the business world, and my interest in money management runs deep,” she shares. “When I took an introductory course in accounting, everything came together for me.” She joined the accounting program, graduated with a MAcc in tax accounting in 2011, and found full-time employment with EY in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Accounting was a natural fit for Moench, but after about four years in the field, she realized she needed a change. “I wanted to pursue my passion for triathlon,” she says. “I knew if I wanted to follow that dream, I would have to get up from my desk, talk to my boss, and make it happen.”

In order to begin training for races full-time, Moench asked for a lighter and more flexible work schedule. “My boss was very supportive,” she says. “I don’t think my request was any surprise to him because I was the person who would come into the office a little later than everyone else because I was working out all morning.”

Quickly progressing as a triathlete, Moench eventually left EY so she could train and travel more for races. While she still continues to do some independent accounting work, she typically trains from five to six hours a day. In 2018 alone she not only placed in multiple professional races but took podium wins at various full and half-IRONMAN competitions as well.

Moench’s win at the IRONMAN European Championship in June 2019 was her biggest yet, and she’s not stopping there. She’s currently training for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in October 2019, which she will be attending as a professional athlete. “Kona is the biggest stage for long-distance triathlon,” Moench says. “My goal is to keep getting the best out of myself and having my best performances, both in Kona and at future races.”

Moench knows a time may come when she’ll move on from triathlons, but for now, she feels she is living her best life. “I think I’ll know when I’ve gotten the most out of myself and am ready for a new challenge,” Moench says. “But I’m not there yet.”

Skye Murphy Moench. Photo courtesy of Skye Murphy Moench.
Skye Murphy Moench. Photo courtesy of Skye Murphy Moench.
Moench crossing the finish line at the 2019 IRONMAN European Championship. Photo courtesy of James Mitchell.
Moench crossing the finish line at the 2019 IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo courtesy of James Mitchell.
Moench riding her bike. Photo courtesy of James Mitchell.
Moench riding her bike. Photo courtesy of James Mitchell.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erika Magaoay