Mathilde is a runner who excels in marathons. She talks to Sundried racing highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
Not really. As a child I tried different sports like dancing, swimming, table tennis and so on, but never stuck to one of them. I used to do sports in school, when I "had to", otherwise I was kind of a lazy kid. When I started studying at university however, it was a whole different story. I have always been a very stressed person, and I found out the only thing that made me feel better and that allowed me to release some of this stress was to go out for a run. That's how it all started. From then on, it has become more than a way to release stress, it has become a passion.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I am slowly getting into it, hopefully. I really love running and cycling, my huge weak spot is swimming. So I hope I will one day throw myself into the water and achieve another goal of mine, to complete a triathlon.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
A really difficult question to answer as I have two favourites. My first marathon, the Berlin Marathon, holds a special place in my heart. It was an amazing experience, I felt so great from beginning to end and my parents and boyfriend travelled with me to Berlin, so it made it even more special.
In April 2019, I ran another marathon, in a small town in Belgium (Namur), which is the city where my godfather was born. It was nothing like my first marathon as it was a much smaller race with fewer people. Why is it one of my favourite races to date? Because I won it (the women's field), and I never thought I would be able one day to say that I won a marathon.
What is your proudest achievement?
Winning a marathon!
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Who hasn't? Last year I went to Chicago to run the marathon. The night before the race we went to a restaurant to eat pasta (carb loading, you know the drill). Unfortunately, the food was not that good and I guess I didn't eat enough because I wasn't able to go to the toilet before the race.
I felt amazing the first half of the race and completed the first 21k in 01:29:26 which should have led to a huge PR. But at 25k I started having real bad stomach cramps and I knew exactly why. As stubborn as I am however, I refused to stop, and finished the race feeling awful.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I tell myself that this is only temporary, that I will be back stronger and that I will learn from this.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Take your time and don't do it on your own, take advice from a coach.
What are your goals?
I want to finish all 6 major marathons. I already ran Berlin and Chicago, and was supposed to run New York this year, but it was canceled. I'd also really love to do my first cycling race.
Who inspires you?
All athletes who never give up inspire me. I love seeing people pushing through and going beyond their limits. Recently, I have been inspired and amazed by Sarah Hall and her performance at London Marathon. She is an amazing runner and is so humble!
Why work with Sundried?
I have been looking for an ethical, eco-responsible and sustainable brand for quite a while now, so when I discovered Sundried I knew it was the one. I love their values! Moreover all Sundried clothes look amazing! I love the colours, logo and how it fits perfectly.