Francesca Smith - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
Yes! I’ve always been an avid sportsperson. I spent most of my childhood surrounded by horses, participating in tetrathlons and eventing but was never far away from a swimming pool, hockey pitch, netball or tennis court either. I captained the 1st team netball and equestrian teams at school and was part of the Exeter University High Performance Netball squad where I captained the 2nd team. I’m one of four sisters who are all incredibly active so our house has always been sports mad!
How did you first get into triathlon?
In 2018, I set myself a New Years resolution to complete a triathlon and did my first one at Blenheim Palace. I absolutely loved it and managed a respectable time so thought I’d try out for the GB Age Group teams. It’s really snowballed since then and while the GB Age-Group events have been my focus over the past couple of years, I have big ambitions to go on and do so much more!
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race would have to be my most recent, the Eastbourne Standard Triathlon. I managed to win my age-group and was placed 4th female overall but most importantly, I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was a tough course with a hilly bike route but I felt strong and was thrilled with my final result.
What is your proudest achievement?
Winning my age-group at Eastbourne where I also managed to qualify for next year’s European championships. It was a first age-group win for me and everything just came together on the day – the elation I felt afterwards made all those long hours of training so worth it.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Fortunately no “disasters” as such but I did manage to fall off my bike coming into T2 at Eton Dorney earlier this year – I made a quick, scrambling recovery so it probably didn’t cost me too much time but it definitely wasn’t part of the plan!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that there is no success without failure. It’s all about the way you frame “setbacks” in your own mind. If you approach them as opportunities for learning and development, then you’ll ultimately emerge stronger.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Trust the process and enjoy it. Prior to one of my races this year, my sister gave me the best piece of advice I could have received which was simply: “remember to enjoy it”. She is so right, what’s the point in doing all of this if we don’t enjoy it? That small comment helped relieve a lot of the pressure I’d put on myself, I kept a smile on my face the entire race and ended up with one of my best results.
What are your goals?
My goal is to race a full Ironman – I’m planning on completing a number of 70.3 events next year with the aim of doing a full Ironman the year after (wish me luck)!
Who inspires you?
There are elite athletes who inspire me every day including Lucy Charles-Barclay and Kat Matthews who are simply incredible, but when it comes to the way I want to conduct myself in life (whether that’s with my sport or at work) and the kind of person I want to be, it’s got to be my father. I have never met such a hard-working, dedicated, generous and loving person in my life and the work ethic and ambition he has instilled in me has helped me to be where I am today. If I can be half the person that he has been then I’ll view that as a success.
Why work with Sundried?
Despite such an increase in awareness around ESG issues, there are still very few businesses where ethics and sustainability are at the core of what they do. Sundried is one example of where this certainly is the case so I’m really proud to be working alongside, and representing, the brand. I’m a firm believer in high quality kit that lasts, and I love the collection of items made from recycled coffee grounds and recycled plastic – as a serious coffee addict this helps my ethical conscience!
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.