Sophie Kirk is a Team GB Age Group Triathlete who got into the sport at university. She has a habit of falling over her bike during transition but this doesn't stop her being a fantastic triathlete! She talks to Sundried about life as an elite athlete.
Have you always been into sport?
As long as I can remember, yes. At age 12 I was swimming competitively 6 or 7 times a week before I started running and orienteering at senior school. I orienteered in the GB junior team for a few years and then got back into swimming and took up cycling at university.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
Triathlon and Cross Country clubs were closely connected at university so it soon seemed a good idea to get back into the pool! After a summer internship where I earned enough money for my first bike, I entered my first triathlon - BUCS Sprint - in 2014. Although I didn't do another triathlon for a further 2 years due to an incident on a bike and broken elbow!
What’s been your best race to date?
My best race has to be either winning a silver medal at the World Duathlon Championships in Aviles, Spain or 5th place at the World Standard Championships in Cozumel last year
And your proudest achievement?
Last year was my first 'season' of triathlon. Completing my first standard distance and gaining selection for the World Championships in Cozumel has to be my proudest moment for pure surprise and joy of achieving my aim for 2016 so early in the season and in front of my parents now supporting me in my new sport!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
At the moment I have a habit of falling off my bike in transitions, this week it was a full over-the-handlebars moment coming into T2. Not a good look, but I think I ran off the pain and still finished 2nd!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Return to the plan! I live for my training plan, and if I'm ever in doubt I just look back over the previous months of training and hard work to convince myself that taking an extra rest day because I'm feeling tired is fine!
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Never forget the reason you started triathlon. Always enter races for fun! There's no point in getting up at 6 am if you're not going to enjoy the race at the end of it.
What are your goals for 2017?
I'm entering my first half ironman this year. I have a time goal for Ironman 70.3 Vichy, and a sneaky ambition for selection for World Champs IM 70.3 in the future.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my coach Imogen Simmonds. She has just gained her pro license and always seems to say the right thing at the right time. It's also hard not be inspired by someone who trains so religiously....even if it is out on a beach in Phuket!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact that Sundried is not only quality kit, but also working hard to maintain a fair and responsible business all along the supply chain. It's also accessible to most athletes. I love the Tour Noir Tank, perfect for keeping cool in Summer.