Caitlin is a competitive triathlete who has competed at world level in both aquathlon and duathlon. She talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
I was a swimmer when I was younger and did that competitively until I joined senior school. I decided I didn't want to swim anymore so started playing team sports. I went through a phase where I didn't enjoy sport at all, and hated running! I said I was never going to swim again, but after a couple of months I ended up gravitating back to it. I started running in order to improve my fitness for lacrosse at school, but after a while I decided lacrosse was not for me and I wanted to start endurance sport and take it seriously.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I have always been a swimmer and the running came at a later stage, which at the time my dad got me into. I went on holiday to Greece one year and they did road cycling so I thought I would give it a try and instantly loved it. On that same holiday I did a mini triathlon and surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it and how I did quite well too, so when I came home I bought my first road bike and entered my first triathlon and it all started from there.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race has got to be World Aquathlon Championships in Penticton 2017. This was my first major championship event and I was so overwhelmed by the atmosphere and team spirit. I also met my current coach who was racing at this event and is a huge role model for me. This race also happened to be my best result with me coming 3rd in my age group.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is definitely coming 3rd in my age group at the Aquathlon World Championships, this was my first major event and to come 3rd was a big achievement and I am still so proud to this day.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
My toughest race to date would be the Duathlon World Championships in 2018. This was my second year competing at that level and because I exceeded my expectations in 2017,I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well and as a result got overly nervous to the point where I couldn't eat a lot before the race, and didn't warm up properly because I felt so sick! I had an awful race and remember crying at the finish line because I didn't do as well as I wanted to, and in my eyes had performed really badly even though I did the best I could on that day but the field was so strong.
How do you overcome setbacks?
The best way to overcome a setback is to set yourself small goals and to keep a positive mindset and see it as a challenge and something to overcome. Tough times don't last but tough people do.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Focus on the process of training for the enjoyment and love of the sport and always think about how you can be a better athlete and control what you are doing. Don't think about what other people are doing in training, work on being the best athlete you can be and not look for outcome goals like winning and medals because you cannot control what other people do and how they perform.
What are your goals?
My goals are to qualify for the next world championship event (when that is, we are uncertain of at the moment given the current world situation) and to get back to racing and running full volume after having a knee injury and being put out of competition for a year. A long term goal for me is to race at international level in the elite category.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from my coach and my coaching team. I always look up to and aspire to be like my coach, live the life she lives and train and race the way she does and be as tough and gutsy as her. The coaches in my coaching team always go by the motto be the best you can be and set your own personal goals and I am inspired by everything they do.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like how Sundried do really simple kit, and it is affordable and good quality. I love the cycling jerseys as they are a simple design and look very professional and high quality yet they are a great price!