Sarah Thomson - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
Yes! I started out with Cross Country at 8 years old and since then my life has revolved around different sports, training and competing and coaching.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I had always run. I actually took up swimming a few years back when I got a bad injury from a mountain bike accident and I needed to use swimming for rehab. I fell in love with how peaceful it was and it then became a part of training. I only got my hands on a road bike at the start of the first lockdown. My driving licence got medically revoked following an illness, and living in Cornwall where the public transport isn't so great I needed the bike to get around. Then fell in love with road biking. So really, triathlon has developed from setbacks and it feels like a really humbling and appreciative way to get into a new sort. Ironman Finland 70.3 will be my first triathlon in 2021 and I'm so excited for it!
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Probably the Ultra X Wadi Rum Ultra in Jordan. It's a multi-stage desert race and the conditions were just so tough! That's the most I've been pushed and although that made it hard, it made it far more rewarding. I finished first female too which brought so much elation to the last day. I will never forget that extreme heat, and the other competitors were such great company.
What is your proudest achievement?
This is hard question because there are different things for different reasons. However more recently (JAN 2021) I ran 7 marathons in 7 days for Charity 'MIND' raising over £10,000 pounds. I have ran further and faster before, but the support and messages received around the reasons for this set up and choice of charity will never leave me.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I think with long distance endurance events it is inevitable that at some point you will have a race/part of a race that doesn't go so smoothly. That's the beauty of them! An event can feel like it's fallen apart if you have problems with kit, or you get sick or sometimes lost, BUT you always have time to win it back. I struggle on the 100mile running events, but I love that it's not over until it's over.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I think the greatest thing we can do is acknowledge them, learn from them, and accept but not dwell on them. Setbacks can cause a lot of anxiety for competitive athletes, so it's about allowing to let the worries sit with you for a short set time whilst you problem solve them, then learning to let them go and move on with focus. I've had setbacks with funding, injury and illness, and losing when I could have won so many times, but every setback paves a path for a comeback so it's all about analysing the setbacks, working out practical solutions then moving forwards rather than allowing the 'what if's' to take over.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Failures are our biggest strength because we learn more from them than we do from always doing well. So never let anything defeat you. Grab hold of the lessons learned from the harder times and use them to learn, grow and carry you through to the successes. But above all, if you are not happy doing what you do, you won't be able to reach your full potential. So chase the sports that make you happy, not necessarily just chasing ones you are good at.
What are your goals?
My main goal is quite simple. It is to be happy. Thankfully something that makes me the most happy is training and competing. I have a world record attempt, an extreme race in Greenland, European Championships for CrossFit, and the 70.3 in Finland coming up. I would love to get the record, finish in the top 3 in Greenland and just perform as best as I can at the European Championships and the Ironman. I think COVID has created some big hurdles for athletes with limited training equipment and space, but training for running and triathlon events has been a real consistent during this time.
Who inspires you?
I have a lot of inspirational athletes and humans to watch. Courtney Dauwalter keeps me going for inspiration on the endurance front and I love watching Sara Sigmundsdottir in CrossFit. Someone once told me to try and look to your own successes for inspiration too, especially when we have fallen short then come back fighting.
Why work with Sundried?
Not only is the quality of clothing so good, Sundried is also partnered with Water for Kids and Surfers Against Sewage. With every purchase made a donation goes to charity. Sundried also has a great sense of community about them which is very important to me.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.