Aoibh Clarke Athlete Ambassador
Aoibh is a junior athlete who has big aspirations for the future. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I have always been involved in sport from competitive horse riding and gymnastics to more recently cross county running and triathlon.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I did my first triathlon about 3 years ago which was run by my triathlon club (Ludlow Junior Triathlon Club). I ended up coming last but enjoyed the whole experience and atmosphere of the event. Since then I started training and now have fallen in love with the sport, and I don't come last anymore!
Whats been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was probably Shropshire Sprint Triathlon 2019 because it was my first open water triathlon and the perfect setting for my first experience of open water triathlon. The bike course is also very fast but undulating so makes it challenging but also adds to the experience! The run is my favourite as it's a long uphill to the 2.5km turn around point which I love because I like running up hills and it's also great to see all the other runners around you cheering you on. It's mainly been my favourite race because I ended up coming 2nd overall and 1st in my age category which showed that all my training was paying off!
And your proudest achievement?
As well as the Shropshire triathlon, I would say competing for the ETP in Dublin last November as it showed that my efforts are potentially good enough to compete nationally and hopefully internationally as either part of academy or age group.
I have also competed at the English schools national cross country for the last two years as part of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire team which was also a proud moment to be part of the county team and such a big event.
Have you had any racing disasters?
My biggest race disaster came in the Stourport duathlon when I came off my bike on a hairpin bend and hurt my wrist. Due to the fall being on my first lap of 11, I had to finish the race with buckled handle bars and one-handed which made it very difficult. I would say this race is also one one of my best races as despite the fall I managed to take second female.
How do you over come setbacks?
By working harder on my weaknesses and trying not to focus on the negative things.
What advice do you wish you were given before you stated competing?
The only advice I would say is not be be too hard on yourself as you won't always perform at your best at every race all the time.
What are your goals?
I am hoping to target the British super series which is the national junior triathlon series. In order to do this I need to focus on my swim to make it faster. I also want to represent the GB age group team in triathlon and duathlon next season. The main goal I have is I want to make the Irish triathlon team at the end of the year which I will also need to work on my swim for.
Who do you take inspiration from?
Lucy Charles, the Brownlee brothers, and Helle Frederiksen, as they are all amazing athletes and give back to the sport by showing what it is to be a great athlete on the field and also helping others by setting up foundations and online coaching.
What do you like about the Sundried kit and whats your favourite bit of our kit?
I like the kit because the material is really soft and fits well. My favourite bit of kit is my trisuit which I frequently race in as its comfortable and has good padding for riding the bike that doesn't get in the way when you swim and run!