Paula decided to quit her job to pursue triathlon full time and has since completed some of the toughest races in the world. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
No, I was a runner for fun but nothing serious. Then in 2012 I decided to quit my job in publishing to become a triathlete.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I wanted to challenge myself and live the triathlon lifestyle. I always thought it was something impossible to do but I love it! I don't believe that anything is impossible. If I dream it, I can do it.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I have so many favourites but I would say my first ultraman in Brazil. It was magic. I trained really hard for it and it was just a dream come true. It really changed my perspective on life.
And your proudest achievement?
Definitely my last race in Canada when I won the double marathon and finished in the top 5 overall. Canada has the toughest ultramarathon in all the ultraman races. It was for sure one of my biggest achievements . My mum, my son and my best friend from Australia were there with me. It was very special.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
My toughest was Ironman Fortaleza in Brazil. Anyone who knows this race will understand how tough it is. Not many people finished it and it actually doesn't exist anymore because it was so tough, but I have done it 3 times. It is the kind of race that gives you huge satisfaction when you finish it. You fight against your mind all the way through.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I try not to push myself too hard and stay positive focusing on something different. I also try to sleep as much as I can. Sleep is my way to overcome a bad time.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I actually can't think of anything; I don't regret anything and I like the idea that I followed my instincts to find my way into the sport.
What are your goals for 2019 and 2020?
After racing 4 ultraman and 2 tough Ironman races in 2 years I decided to have a break until 2020. My last ultraman was 3 weeks ago. I need some time to organise my life as I have been everywhere since 2017. The UK is my home now. I am planning to do 3 ultraman races in 2020.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My mum. She is the one who always encourages me to follow my dreams and never gives up on me. She is the youngest 70 year-old I have ever seen and she still plays a lot of sports herself.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the look and the quality of it. It is cool and fits extremely well. The triathlon suit is my favourite.