Caitlin took up athletics at university to support a friend and after deciding to race a triathlon in the Caribbean, she was hooked. She talks to Sundried about her ambitions for the future.
Have you always been into sport?
Surprisingly not. I was into music at school and only made the ‘E’ team at school hockey. I started running when I went to university – only because my friend wanted company – so I joined the athletics team and had a fantastic five years with them. Sport was a huge part of my life at university and continues to be now around life as a doctor.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
As a runner I did parkrun and cross country, pretty much just getting muddy and having fun. I fancied another challenge so decided to cycle the Lon Las route from the top to the bottom of Wales over 4 days. After that, I was hooked and decided to sign up to my first triathlon in Antigua in the Caribbean on elective. Winning that first sprint triathlon and racing with the likes of Andrea Hewitt and other Olympic stars I decided to set my plans on improving in the sport.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It would have to be where it all started in Antigua, racing in a sports bra and Lycra shorts in 40 degree heat; swimming with sting rays and cycling along the white sand beaches. Not much beats that (plus a win and a wooden medal helped!)
And your proudest achievement?
Qualifying to represent Team GB in Spain 2020 whilst juggling life working as a junior doctor in intensive care (and remaining humanly sociable) was a challenge but felt like a big achievement.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The qualifying race in Bedford was a tough one with gale force winds, rain, and no supporters. Driving back home soaking wet for 6 hours wasn’t too much fun, but I qualified so none of that mattered!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Remember life’s bigger than a race; I see life and death moments in work most days and that definitely helps put sporting life into perspective.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Stretch, stretch, stretch. I don’t and didn’t do it enough and I’ve paid for it with inures after qualifying. Its easy to do, so don’t skip it!
What are your goals for 2020?
I’d like to race for Team GB in Punta Umbria in March, then qualify for the World ITU race in 2021. I’d like to keep loving triathlon and racing and training as much as allows me to keep work, life, social and sport all working together.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
A whole host of people. Everyone in triathlon is inspiring because they all have their own unique journey and story to tell. Racing with Andrea Hewitt in Antigua was definitely a big inspiration, but day to day it's my friends and family who are the big inspiration.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the Sundried kit; it's practical and works for both training and racing in this glorious British weather (even more so in Wales). So far, my favourite pieces of kit have got to be the sports bra and the cycling gilet. The bra fits so well and works in all weathers, while the gilet works perfectly protecting from the wind on long training rides.