Camille was born into a sporty family in a sporty community. She talks to Sundried about her passion for triathlon.
Have you always been into sport?
I was lucky to find my passion for sport at a very young age. I was always keen and excited by any sport. I grew up in a climbing family in the bouldering mecca of Fontainebleau in France and I am forever thankful to my parents for immersing me into the world of climbing and mountaineering. The foundation of love for physical activity, adventure and the outdoors was laid.
My passion for sport has evolved of course over the years, with phases in my younger years when I focused on gymnastics and dance, in addition to climbing. It’s only in my late 20s that I found passion for running, which later expanded to triathlon. Why focus on one sport when you can train for three at once?
How did you first get into triathlon?
I always knew deep down I wanted to compete in triathlon. But I just didn’t want to compete in any triathlon, I wanted to race Ironman (long distance triathlon)… I didn’t even own a bike! But I was set on that idea in my mind. I just wasn’t too sure how to approach it. It’s the encouragements and support from friends which got me started.
And not only did I dream of finishing an Ironman … I had been inspired by reading about and watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. That was my real BIG DREAM. To not just spectate the Ironman World Champs on the TV, but to actually take part as an athlete.
So I bought a bike and three weeks later, I took part in my first triathlon, a local sprint distance race. With a plan in mind to gain experience to make it to the World Champs!
I barely knew how to swim in the sea (my very limited swimming experience had been in swimming pools) nor even just clip my cleats on my bike pedals… I didn’t let these small details phase me… I somehow made it around the course in one piece. I have to admit that as I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon (sprint: swim 750m, bike 20km and run 5km), I did wonder how on Earth do people complete a full Ironman (Ironman swim 3.8km, bike 180km and then run a whole marathon (42km))! But the desire was burning strong inside…
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
It won’t come as a surprise that my favourite race to date is the IRONMAN World Championships (Kona). I poured so much energy and sweat to firstly qualify for this event. And then, I poured all my heart and soul in training for it. When I landed in Kona Hawaii a week or so before the race, I still couldn’t believe I was there to actually taking part myself as an athlete! The race lived up to its expectations and it was such a truly exceptional experience. The course, the grueling conditions, the competitive field, my family there to support… I give it 110% and no words can describe all the emotions I was going through when racing! I had the race of a lifetime!
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement to date is obtaining a silver medal in my category at the ITU World Championship in 2019. Who would have thought I would ever stand on the podium at a World Championship J? Not me!
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Oh yes plenty of racing disasters. For example, I went into hypothermia after a very cold swim followed by a cold and windy bike leg, or I had a puncture which led to a crash off my bike, both of these in half Ironman distance races.
Also I made plenty of racing mistakes such as not remembering where my bike was racked in T1 or running out of T2 with my bike helmet still on my head.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Never giving up and working hard for what I really want. There are no secrets J In some ways, failures feed successes. If I fail to achieve my goals, it makes me want to achieve them even more, so I then double my efforts.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
With hindsight, I was naïve when I started triathlon. I had a background in competing in endurance events in running, so I thought I just had to apply my experience to multisport events. It wasn’t that simple as I basically had to learn two new sports! Had I known how much effort it would really take for me to reach my dreams in triathlon, I might have gotten scared.
However gathering the courage to just go for it and take part, is one of the best decision I made. My humble advice would be to be BOLD, and just chase your dreams, whatever they are.
What are your goals?
My goals are to keep pushing the limits and be the best I can be in all the sports I practice. They are my dreams.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by my children (I’m very fortunate to have three little ones). The fill me with inspiration on a daily basis. Watching them embrace every single day with so much energy and enthusiasm, watching them grow and develop at their own pace, watching them tackle their own goals … They are an endless source of motivation. And when they come to support at events, there is nothing I want more than to make them proud and inspire them to chase their own dreams.
Why work with Sundried?
The values of Sundried, especially the sustainability and ethics of the brand, are a great fit with how I lead my life. I’m really excited to work with the brand!