triathlon triathlete Team GB Age Group

Lucy is a Team GB Age Group triathlete who has competed at world level. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, I got into sport at a very early age, firstly playing football then swimming. At school, I was on every team possible; tennis, athletics, track and field, cricket, surf lifesaving. I chose swimming and football as my main sports, but gave everything up between the ages of 16 and 21 as there were so many other things a teenager wanted to do (partying and drinking!) At 22, I found myself overweight, unhealthy and missing sports, so went back to football as a way to lose weight and get healthy again and played until I was 35.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon

When I was 35 I was still playing football but getting injured a lot and not enjoying it any more. I was travelling in Mexico when we rented bikes to get around and one day whilst riding I decided I would do a triathlon get I got home.

I had loved multi-sport track and field at school; the pentathlon was my favourite event and then the 2012 Olympic triathlon blew me away. I realised I should stop just saying I would do one and actually do it!

What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

There have been so many. Running a trail race around the Angkor Wat in Cambodia was breathtaking and so unique. In triathlon, I would say Laguna Phuket Triathlon is one of my favourites in a love/hate kind of way. I have done it 4 times now and it is truly a unique race. Last time I did it, I won overall age group female so was super happy.

And your proudest achievement?

Probably representing Team GB at the World and European multi-sport championships and getting a bronze and silver medal respectively the first time I competed. Standing on the podium with my GB flag was an awesome feeling for someone that always wanted to achieve something in sport.

triathlete running competing racing

Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

In my 2nd year representing Team GB last year at Pontevedra in Spain, 2 laps into the 120km bike course going up a steep, winding hill, I got a puncture. Normally, I can change a tyre quite quickly but on this occasion everything that could go wrong did go wrong and it took me 15 minutes to get back on the road. By that time, my battle for the podium was gone and I went from 2nd place to way back; my heart was no longer in it, I was crying whilst riding, and it was all a bit of mess. It was tough finishing at all, and when I did I couldn't help feeling that I had let everyone down. It was an awful feeling that I will never forget.

How do you overcome setbacks?

By being very positive. I tend to be a very happy-go-lucky person who is thankful I am loving the life I lead and am grateful that I can do this. There will always be setbacks and things that don't go the way you thought they would, but it's adapting to that and getting on with things without dwelling on them that I really try to do.

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

I wish I had known how addictive triathlon is and how I would come to want to spend everything I earn on equipment and bikes! I also wish someone had told me to start it sooner in life.

What are your goals for 2020?

I am finally going to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships as it has been moved to November meaning I can go after 3 years of qualifying but not being able to go. This is my year and I want to make the most of it and do the best I can.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

There are so many inspiring people in our sport. I am lucky that over the years, I have trained with everyone from beginners to elite age group winners to superstar pros of triathlon and they all have their own stories and challenges.

I think training with Paralympic triathletes is something that will always stay with me and inspire me to keep going and not give up no matter what happens. Also my husband, he does not do this sport but does yoga and is a yoga teacher and, like me with triathlon, he found it late in life and it changed his life completely. But he is so relaxed and happy, he supports me and helps me so so much I could never do this without him.

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

My favourite thing is definitely the clothing made from recycled materials, such as the Eco Charge range made from recycled coffee grounds and the Eco Core from recycled bottles. My husband and I have the vest from that range and they are our favourites for sure. I love the fact that Sundried was started by someone that cares about making a difference and wants to have eco and sustainable practises yet still produce quality sports products at an affordable price.