Brooke Gillies Team GB Age Group Triathlete
Brooke is a Scottish triathlete who only got into the sport one year ago. She has trained hard and made it to the World Championships in Rotterdam. She tells Sundried about life as a triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
I started swimming at the age of 7 and I continued that for 10 years. In that time I qualified for 15 Scottish Championships and I made all the finals in the freestyle and backstroke event. In all the years I swam, I was ranked top 10 for my age group every year. I also went to occasional swim camps, such as Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Calella.
Through the years I played football from time to time as well. Being goalkeeper for Dunfermline Ladies Reserves was a big achievement, especially when we went on to reach the final of the League Cup in 2016.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
Towards the end of 2015 I got ill, this set me back a lot as I was sick for a few months with a bad infection. I started to fall behind in training and I wasn't able to keep up my fitness levels, this made me lose so much motivation because I wasn’t sure if I could pick it back up again.
The only way to resolve this was to take a long break away from the pool and take it easy for a few months. In this time I came across triathlon and I felt this could be the beginning of a whole new chapter for me. I started by reading up on it and watching YouTube videos to see what it was all about.
Triathlon looked to be a new goal for me, so I went for it. I set myself up to just go for it and entered my first triathlon back in June 2016, and now one year later I am training hard to be one of the best triathletes in the country.
What’s been your best race to date?
My best race to date has to be the World Championships in Rotterdam 2017. This was my first major race and I was really nervous to be competing against girls from all over the world. But I kept my head up and just gave it my all throughout the full race to finish 5th out of 53 girls in my age group (16-19). I was also the first British female to cross the line in a time of 1:12:19.
And your proudest achievement?
From the very first event I entered I have taken a very substantial amount of time off my overall time. My first event I finished in a time of 1:31:12 and now I am reaching sub 1 hour 10 mins. That for me is a great achievement because it shows how hard I have trained over the past year.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I had a bad experience in Wales when I went to compete in a super series event. I underestimated how competitive the field was.
Since I hadn't competed in a super series race before, my name was called out last meaning there was limited choice for me to pick where to stand for the start of the swim, I would have preferred the right hand side but there was only space in the middle. When the race started everyone was jumping on each other and grabbing legs and that's when I got kicked in the face and grabbed underwater, it made me feel really dizzy and I was disorientated and that's when the kayaks came over and took me out of the water. That was the end of my race.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I pick myself up and just keep training hard because I believe what I am doing is right and I know it will all pay off in the end.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Be prepared before you fully commit to the sport. Find a coach and a good club to help you train. Don't put all the pressure on yourself.
What are your goals for 2017?
My goal for 2017 was to reach the World Championships in Rotterdam for my age group and I achieved that goal. And what made it even better was that I finished 5th overall and 1st British female.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from watching the elite females compete, seeing them compete at such a high level makes me want to train harder to reach my goals.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like Sundried because it was founded by athletes and that means that they know what apparel will be suited for other athletes like myself.
I also really appreciate the charity work that Sundried do, the fact that money from every purchase goes to Water for Kids is amazing.
My favourite bit of the Sundried kit is the sports bras and the leggings, they are really comfortable to train in and they look modern.