Amanda was inspired into the world of triathlon because of the challenge. She talks to Sundried about some of the crazy and wild races in which she has since participated.
Have you always been into sport?
I would say yes. I started horse riding when I was around 9 which progressed into jockey training at 15. Unfortunately, due to health problems, that future fell through. In my early twenties, I found a new love in running and started my journey with obstacle course racing. Not long after starting I began to raise the bar and take on more challenging events. Now, here I am!
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
It was actually down to my auntie: she asked me if I would ever do a sprint triathlon after she read the book “From Fat Man to Ironman in Eighteen Months”, and of course, after reading some of the book myself, I had to say yes to the new challenge. Keep in mind, at this point, I had no idea how to swim and didn’t even have my own bike, but this just added to the excitement of something new. I learned to swim, I got a bike and worked my way up to extreme long-distance triathlons!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It would have to be Celtman Xtri mainly because it was just sheer madness! The atmosphere, the hills, the scenery from the start to the finish line, even if it was raining, it was still spectacular. By far one of the hardest races I have ever completed (so far).
And your proudest achievement?
That's a hard one! My favourite would probably be Ironman Wales 2018. Originally, it was supposed to be my first Ironman event back in 2017 but I pulled out to participate in Ironman UK instead. I’m really glad that I went back to take on Ironman Wales because I came out with a faster time than IMUK and I managed to get 8th in my age group!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Back to the madness, it would have to be Celtman 2018: I came into T1, fresh out the water, and stood on my socks so I was cycling in the blasting rain, freezing cold, with wet feet. I think this is what led to me taking a bad turn around eighty miles into the bike. I thought the race was over for me but I managed to press on and get out of my wet socks.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Every athlete's nightmare! I’m currently facing some swimming setbacks which is frustrating. But, these things happen and sometimes you just need to stop and recover. I pulled out of races in 2017 due to injuries and, due to pulling out, I made it to the main goal. Always think of the big picture, try not to be too hard on yourself, you are only human!
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Get a coach early would be my main advice. That, or join a club. Having people helping you along the way makes a huge difference in training. Having 'you time' is okay, your body needs rest and family always comes first. Don't stress about training, it's not supposed to be stressful. Enjoy the journey!
What are your goals for 2019?
My goals for 2019 are Epicman Middle Distance on the 2nd of June, ThorXTri in Norway 17th August and Triathlon X Half (the most extreme half in the UK) 22nd of September. Basically, a year full of climbing in pretty places.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
People that are out, doing what they love, and making a positive difference to their lives. The age groupers of the sport with the full time jobs and families, the athletes that are doubted but are out there taking on their dream and crossing the finish line. If that doesn't inspire you then I don't know what will!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The best thing, in my opinion, is that Sundried are one of the only highly motivated ethical sportswear brands around. Obviously, the sportswear itself is incredible too! The planet needs companies with morals aligned with Sundried.
My favourite bit of kit to train in would have to be the Sundried Rouleur Women's Training Bib Shorts. It’s hard to find a pair of cycling shorts that stay comfortable for long distance cycles, but these do not disappoint. I also love the Sundried Piz Fora Training Vest for running. It's breathable and made from recycled plastic bottles! I love it!