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Amy Wilkinson Athlete Ambassador

by Victoria Gardner
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Swim Run Triathlon Triathlete winner podium

Have you always been into sport?

Sport has always been a large part of my life. Starting out as a swimmer, I spent many hours of my childhood in the water before moving on to running for my teenage years and whilst at university. After having many people tell me I should try it, I finally took part in my first triathlon less than 2 years ago and loved it!

What made you decide to enter triathlon?

A new challenge! Having run competitively for a good 10 years, I needed something different to target. Still throughly enjoying my running and having a swimming background, competing in triathlon events seemed like a natural transition; the added demand of a third sport and the art of transitions meant that it was definitely something that would challenge me physically, technically and mentally!

What’s been your best race to date?

As a relative newbie to the sport of triathlon, I don't have many to choose from so I think my best race would be the first race I did at Blenheim Palace; not knowing what to expect and being quite frankly terrified of what I had let myself in for, I felt like I really managed get 'in the zone' and was completely shocked to stumble jelly-legged out of the water in second place and finally end up with a top 5 placing.

And your proudest achievement?

Qualifying to compete in the ITU World Championships last year and coming 2nd in my age group in the Aquathlon event; it was only my second Aquathlon ever and so I was very pleasantly surprised!

Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?

Frustratingly so, but I don't think it would be normal not to have a disaster at some point in a racing career! After coming 2nd in the ITU Aquathlon World Championships, I competed in the Sprint triathlon on the following day. Feeling remarkably fresh - there had been much worry about how I would manage to race on consecutive days in the tough, energy-sapping Mexican heat - I had a great PB swim and managed to get myself in a great pack with another GB athlete on the bike leg. However, cycling along with my mouth open resulted in a good 10-15minutes on the roadside with the medics after swallowing a bug of sorts! Remembering one of the values I try to instil in the students I teach, perseverance, I knew that a DNF simply couldn't happen and I managed to get around the run and avoided coming last too!

How do you overcome setbacks?

With the great support I have from my fiancé, family, friends and my sports masseuse. I used to really struggle when injured, but now I look for the positives and realise that it is my body's way of telling me to ease up or to sort out those weak areas. Not being able to train as I want, does encourage me to reflect and review what has worked and perhaps what hasn't.

What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

Practice your transitions!! Despite having been vaguely aware of the need to and perhaps half-heartedly doing it, I did not do this enough! You simply cannot 'over-practice' the tugging off your wetsuit and then, hopping off the bike quickly and putting on your trainers whilst feeling all jelly-legged and under pressure!

What are your goals for 2017?

To medal at both the National and European Aquathlon Championships, and to compete in the Sprint Distance Triathlon at the ITU World Championships. I have also entered some long distance swims as a new challenge and hope to achieve a top 10 age group placing at these.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

Close to home and at a young age, my English teacher at school; she was - and still is - a great runner and motivator who provided me with someone inspirational to look up to. More recently, it has to be Gwen Jorgensen; her ability to run as fast as she does at the end of the triathlon, is simply awe-inspiring!

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

I love that, as a brand, Sundried really care about the products they make and the World in which they make them. The quality of the clothing is exceptional and really compliments the demands of a tough training regime. My favourite bit of kit is the Sundried Grivola Tee - it's great for post-workout stretching due to its loose fit and is a really comfortable piece of kit to put on after a hard session.

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