Marie didn't get into racing until later in life and is now achieving gold medals in international races. She talks to Sundried about her journey.
Have you always been into sport?
Sports and keeping active have always played a huge role in my life. I have dabbled in activities from horse riding to water sports, jogging to weight lifting, however it wasn’t until I had my daughter Olivia in 2015 that I became seriously dedicated and shortly after found my passion for duathlon.
How did you first get into triathlon?
After having Olivia, I was determined to get back into shape and shift the extra baby weight I was still carrying, so I started some personal training sessions at my local gym, mainly focusing on my core strength. Once I felt like I was getting stronger, I started to incorporate some running into my training sessions and it wasn’t long before I was entering all the local run events I could find and searching for the next challenge.
My husband Phil - who had recently started competing in Standard Distance Duathlon - encouraged me to have a go at a Sprint Distance Duathlon and entered me into Castle Coombe Duathlon (5k run, 20k bike, 5k run) where I came 5th in my category. Safe to say after this I had the bug!
What's been your favourite race to date and why?
Without a doubt, my favourite race to date has to be the ETU Duathlon Championships in Punta Umbria Spain - March 2020. Everything seemed to click into place on the day; the weather, the course, my mindset. Waiting on the start line, I really felt like the race was mine and I came away with my first ever Age Group gold medal for Team GB.
What's your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement for many reasons would have to be my first ever race competing for Team GB in Odense, Denmark in 2018. My husband Phil was also competing for Team GB alongside me and all of our family made the journey to be there to support us and I came away with a bronze medal.
Have you had any racing disasters?
I have had a few pre-race disasters! Ibiza 2019 ETU whilst building my beloved Liv Envie bike, the seat clamp fell into the seat post and I had to go to the mechanic at a shop that wasn’t open until the day before my race. It had to be stripped down as it had gone underneath the bottom bracket! Eventually, we were reunited and I came away with my second bronze medal.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Even though it's hard, I try to stay positive and focused and take every day as it comes. If everything came easy, we wouldn’t appreciate the wins when they do come along. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
You can achieve anything you put your mind to. Believe in yourself and keep going!
If anyone had told me just after I had my daughter that in 5 years time, aged 40 something, I would be in the best shape of my life, winning a gold medal for my country, I would have laughed. But look at me now!
What are your goals?
To keep fit, healthy and strong and be the best I can be. Not only for myself but for my daughter too.
Who inspires you?
My fellow competitors as well as the Brownlee Brothers and Vicky Holland.
Why work with Sundried?
I wanted to work with Sundried after my first order and hearing from other people how much they loved the product. I read about what they do and how they help athletes get the most out of their sportswear. I love the brand as it's hard-wearing, looks great, feels great on, it washes well and is amazing value.