Sarah Harding Athlete Ambassador
Sarah is a triathlete who has excelled in sport. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes I have always done sport. As a child my main sports were tennis and athletics, and in the former I was a top player in my age group nationally. I have tried my hand at many other sports, representing GB universities at rowing, and regional level at athletics and netball.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I first got into triathlon after the birth of my daughter in 2019. I chose triathlon because I thought I might be quite good at it and I liked the variety that comes with doing multiple disciplines. I entered a pool-based sprint triathlon and trained for about 3 weeks before it. I came 4th overall and it kickstarted my bug for trying to be the best i can be.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was the Outlaw X middle distance triathlon in Thoresby Park, in September 2019. It was my first ever half distance race (and only my 7th ever race), but I loved it. The distance and being able to finish with a half marathon really suits me, and the setting was stunning. It showed me what my body can do and gave me strength in my perseverance and determination
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is winning silver at the European Duathlon Championships in March 2020 in the 30-34 age category. I had had really disastrous preparation following months of illness and some really disruptive personal news the week before the race. But despite these issues, I dug deep, found some energy I didn't know I had, and raced my hardest. It showed me how much resilience and strength you have when you think you can't do it.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
In my first ever race, it had rained whilst my bike was in transition. It was typically freezing up in the North East, and I had planned to put a top on for the bike. However my top was soaking wet, inside out, and I probably wasted a minute faffing. That minute was the difference between 4th and 2nd overall, so I was gutted, and felt very much like the amateur I was!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I overcome setbacks by hard work and trust in myself. I have experience in lots of different sports, but for me, triathlons are about pushing yourself first and foremost, rather than concentrating too much on other people around you. I also like to go for runs to clear my mind, have a good slice of cake, and think about how far I've come.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
I feel like I am still starting out (!), but I would have loved to have advice about how to rack your bike and set up in transition: everyone around me looked so professional, but the more I now know, the more I honestly believe that no one really knows what they're doing and its all about trying to look like you do!
What are your goals?
My goals are to be the best I can be, to continue to improve, to become better and more confident on my bike, and to continue to enjoy racing training, and doing triathlons.
Who inspires you?
My hero is Kelly Holmes. Her struggles with injury, mental health and overcoming her barriers in such an inspiring way, to achieve her life ambition shows me that you should never write anyone off, or do so at your peril!
Why work with Sundried?
I wanted to work with Sundried for their quality products and also their commitment to the environment. They have a great balance between quality, wellbeing and responsibility, and thus are a great company to be associated with.