Chloe and Judith MacCombe - Athlete Ambassadors
Have you always been into sport?
We've always been a bit sporty. We got into karate when we were around 14 and did a lot of hiking through Duke of Edinburgh, but never really took things seriously; it was all for fun. It wasn't until we went to university in Coleraine (Ulster University) that we got into rugby, rowing and general gym fitness- that's when things got serious! We still did it all for enjoyment, but there was more of a focus on performance too.
How did you first get into triathlon?
We had been on the para-rowing team for Ireland but that fell through due to coaching issues, we bumped into a guy from triathlon Ireland who basically said "can you swim, cycle and run? Cool, there's a training day next month in Belfast, see you both there!"
So very much by accident- but the best accident!
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Without a doubt, the Commonwealth Games for us both. We've never had the crowds that were there, the atmosphere was incredible! And knowing our family were also watching just made it more special.
What is your proudest achievement?
Again probably representing Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games. As well as the gains we have both seen in our performance over the past year - showing the hard work is paying off!
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Judith had a pretty bad swim in a recent race in Portugal where her, and her guide Anne, got caught in a back current meaning they didn't move for 20 minutes. They battled through and had a fantastic bike and run, finishing 4th!
Chloe also had a bit of a disaster coming out of the swim in a race in Swansea, where she had the swim tether on too tight which caused her leg to cramp up (so much that she couldn't walk on it) - but again she carried on with her guide, Catherine and finished 6th, just 60 seconds after first place!
How do you overcome setbacks?
It can be challenging to overcome setbacks, but by looking at them methodically it can help. Focus on the controllables- the things you can control, and work on fixing those. Having friends and family supporting us also helps!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
That is such a good question!
For Judith it would be; remember to enjoy what you're doing! Also remember that it's your race- don't focus on anyone else.
For Chloe it would be; Consistency is key, and having an off day or week is OK - you'll get things wrong and that's cool. Just don't make the same mistake again and learn from them all.
What are your goals?
We both hope to qualify for Paris Paralympics in 2024, so working hard and getting the qualifying races done to a good level is where we are currently aiming.
Who inspires you?
I think in a weird way, we inspire each other as we constantly strive to push each other and make each other better.
Our guides also inspire us (past and present guides). Not only are they incredible athletes in their own right, but to sacrifice their time to help us is truly remarkable! They also have some incredible advice and knowledge.
In the triathlon world, Suzanna Rodriguez - current world number 1 in the women's visually impaired category, she's an incredible athlete but also a great friend. Alison Peasgood for these reasons too!
Why work with Sundried?
It's an amazing brand, and they have a great selection of high-quality goods at an affordable price - which as self-funded triathletes is super important haha!
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.