Katie Harbon Team GB Age-Group Duathlete
Katie is a keen duathlete who is now getting into the sport of triathlon. She talks to Sundried about how she uses herself as her best motivation.
Have you always been into sport?
Ever since I remember I have played sport. From being in a pram watching my mum and dad in running races to playing every type of sport going at school, I have always loved that competitive feeling, especially winning! At about 8 years old I started playing tennis and then got into athletics and threw the javelin for my school and became county and district champion. Unfortunately, I got injured and so started running competitively and that's where my triathlon journey started. I now run for my local running club, North Herts Road Runners, and I am also a member of my local triathlon club, Freedom Tri.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
I watched my coach become World Duathlon and Triathlon champion and decided on a whim to enter London Duathlon where I won my age group. From there I entered several more and then transitioned to triathlon at the beginning of 2017.
What’s been your best race to date?
My best race to date has got to be the World Championships in Spain for the sole reason that I was representing GB! Other than that, my best race so far is winning the Dambuster Duathlon in 2016 because it was my first major duathlon qualifier and I was terrified! I have improved a lot since then but you always remember your first win!
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement so far has to be qualifying for the GB age-group team. I hadn’t been training seriously for long before that and so I didn’t know whether I would make the team or not. Wearing a GB vest is something I will never forget!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
My first racing disaster was at the World Championships in Spain in 2016. I felt really good during the build up and then had an overwhelming feeling of nerves on the morning of the race which completely knocked my confidence. Also, as I am prone to cramp, I always put salt in my water but I forgot and had cramp in my calf throughout the whole race. It’s all part of the journey and what helps you improve for next time. A learning curve!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I get up, pick my feet up and carry on. I had a small break at the end of 2016 to re-focus and I now have more determination than ever. The World Championships gave me experience of an international competition which means I am much more prepared for next time and it also made me see where I want to be in the future.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
‘Quality not quantity’ is so true, especially when it comes to training.
What are your goals for 2017?
It is my first year competing in triathlon so I am concentrating on race practice, finding a race plan that suits me and just building confidence in doing 3 sports instead of 2! I am also aiming to do well in the 2018 qualifying races.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
However strange it seems, my inspiration comes from myself. When I start seeing results from the hard work I have put in it makes me want it more.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact that Sundried focus on other areas of the clothing other than just the clothing itself. It supports several charities such as ‘Water for Kids’ where they donate with every purchase which helps to support good health of children in deprived countries. That means that when you buy clothing from Sundried to help your health you are also helping a child with theirs. Also, I love the fact that they are completely ethical. This is a major factor for me as it means that the clothing I wear is not just environmentally friendly but the work force that made it is being treated fairly.