Have you always been into sport?
Yes absolutely, despite being diagnosed with a heart murmur when I was 5 and being told I would need to be careful with doing too much sport, I have always loved being active. I was in the netball team at primary school and just about every sports team at secondary school. Throughout Uni and my 20's I played hockey as many days a week as I could, including playing National League when I lived in Spain and England Mixed here in the UK. I only stopped when I broke my jaw and opted for a slightly less dangerous activity! That’s when I started to get a bit more into running and the gym, and also cross county skiing – I’ve completed the Engadin Ski Marathon 6 times now – I’m aiming for 10! Then I got into Barry’s Bootcamp / HIIT and met the trainer who got me into triathlon...
How did you first get into triathlon?
At the time I was doing 4 bootcamp classes a week – I loved them due to the focus on mental strength and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. One of my favourite trainers was organising a group to do a triathlon and she persuaded me to give it a go. That was no mean feat because I really disliked swimming and was not very good at it at all, and hadn’t been on a bike since university (at least 15 years earlier!).
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Probably my first ever multisport race, Eton Sprints in 2018. I was so terrified and so clueless in equal measure but I loved every second (even the swim) and have been totally hooked ever since!
What is your proudest achievement?
The European Duathlon Championships in Punta Umbria, 2020 – it just couldn’t have been more perfect a day. Having surprised myself in qualifying, I then worked really hard over the winter to get ready for the race in March, and it just all came together perfectly on the day. I came 10th in my Age Group but really, I was super proud of myself for a PB on every leg. I feel all the more grateful for this experience when literally the following weekend Spain went into lockdown.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
My biggest racing disaster was actually the one that led me to qualify for the GB age group team! I crashed hard on the bike leg of the London Duathlon in Richmond Park, having made the rookie mistake of clipping my pedal on a roundabout. I landed on my head and shoulder and spent 8 minutes stationary being checked over by medics etc. I completed the race but obviously didn’t get a time worthy of all the training I had done, which is why I entered the Bedford Duathlon shortly after, to try to make use of the training – and that’s when I qualified for the Euros, so a disaster with a happy ending!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I’d love to say I’m brilliant at this but that would not be true! I had a hockey coach in Spain who used to shout ‘leave nothing on the pitch’ when we ran out to play and I think that just about sums up my attitude these days – do all you can, with what you have available, in your own circumstances, and then you can go to bed happy. You may not win but if you gave it your all then you can’t ask any more of yourself. With setbacks I see them as a chance in the circumstances, or the things I have available to me, and I have to work with it. I can’t do anything more!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
To take a moment to actually celebrate your achievements, to look back at your journey and now and again think, wow, well done me. In my youth I never did this, as soon as I achieved my goal I’d raised the bar and was pushing to the next bar. Reflecting on successes is so important to give you energy to keep pushing on!
What are your goals?
I’ve qualified for the sprint duathlon Euros and Worlds this year, so I’d like to put in a good performance at those and improve my bike leg, which is definitely my weaker area. I’d also like to qualify for the GB age group team for next season as well.
Who inspires you?
When I was younger this used to be about sporting superstars, more recently it’s been about my fellow amateur athletes, the age groupers who fit in all their training around work and daily life and still manage to excel.
Why work with Sundried?
I’ve been blown away by the Sundried kit – it looks fab and is very reasonably priced compared to so much fitness wear. I also love that it’s focused on sustainability and taking care of the planet which is increasingly something we all need to think about in all aspects of our lives. Mostly it’s just brilliant kit!
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