Sarah specialises in cold water swimming and has done some of the toughest races out there, including the now defunct Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball. She talks to Sundried about training, racing, and inspiring her daughters.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been into sport – mountaineering, caving, kayaking, running, climbing, cycling – so moving into triathlon sport was natural to me.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was inspired to get into triathlon by my daughters as well as my friend who is a Team GB Age Group triathlete. I wanted to inspire my daughters to do what I have done and to see that anything is possible. Now I want to inspire others to see that they can do it too. If I can do it, anyone can.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It’s always the Cotswold 113 half Ironman in June. The organisers, 113 Events, are lovely and it’s a great race for all levels and age groups.
And your proudest achievement?
There have been so many! Training my daughters to swim in cold water and learning to race in open water. Moving to a TT bike and my 5 years of triathlon achievements.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
There have been a lot, but I would have to say missing the bike cut-off for Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball. I cried for 2 days! I was ten minutes over the time allowance but there was 3 miles of climbing on the bike route.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I stay calm and work through them, like I do with my businesses. You have to stay focused on the goal and then put in place activity to sort out what might have gone wrong. Sometimes a challenge isn't right for you and you have to accept that. For example, I tried to complete the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim but it was way out of my league.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I learnt everything the hard way on my own without advice but I think that has made me a better athlete. I made so many mistakes; wrong bike, gears, wetsuit, injury, over training, crashes and more, but I have learnt so much. It’s the journey that counts!
What are your goals for 2020?
Complete the Polar Bear Swim, do another Ironman 70.3, complete a long distance swim, and get my girls to 2k in open water and on the road; they are 12 and 13.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
All my friends do amazing things and I just look at them and I am in awe! Swimming in the World Cold Water Championships, my friend Corinne Clarke going to Kona, seeing Sarah Thomas swim the channel 4 times back-to-back, Ross Edgley and Lewis Pugh.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact it's sustainable but also technical. It’s a brand trying hard to be the best. I love the barefoot gym shoes because I love wearing less in the gym on my feet and of course the women’s performance tri suit – because that’s me!