What made you get into triathlons?
I have always been a competitive swimmer who dabbled with running and cycling. A few years ago I got my first road bike, loved it and thought putting all three sports together would be a good idea. The rest is history!
What has been your proudest/best triathlon moment?
Completing my first standard distance triathlon, Arundel Castle, that included my first river swim and a rather hilly run. I couldn’t believe it when I came 2nd in my category!
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
Finding the time to train consistently across all three disciplines and managing to maintain a healthy work/life/sport balance.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
Wendy Houvenaghel. She is, like me, from N. Ireland and I think it is amazing how she only took up cycling, my favourite discipline, at the age of 27 and so quickly went on to represent team GB. Despite disappointments, she stayed strong and believed in herself and continued to achieve many successes. She was always professional, dedicated and determined to be the best she possibly could.
What are your future goals?
To improve my running (in terms of training consistently and my negative attitude towards it!), to include more strength and conditioning to keep injuries at bay, and to have a go at middle distance.
What would be your one piece of essential advice to someone looking to start up triathlons?
Enjoy yourself! Don’t get hung up on needing all the latest gadgets and kit. Give the sport a go and see how you feel after your first event and then take things from there.
What is your favourite piece of triathlon kit?
My bike!! It makes me smile every time!
What’s your favourite thing about triathlons?
The variety and challenges the sport offers. Every event and distance is different, so there is always something new out there to challenge you. Training across three sports is a lot of fun, and if you are unfortunate enough to get injured, there is usually one or more of the sports that will allow you to keep training.
As it’s Women in Sport Week: What do you think is the biggest challenge for women triathletes, & how do you overcome them?
I think that many of the challenges faced by amateur women triathletes, such as time and the cost of kit/training/entry fees, are not really any different than those faced by men. However, it would be good to see even more women getting involved in triathlon. Numbers are definitely on the increase, but more work is needed in this area. Participation leads to passion in any sport! To answer how do I overcome the time challenge, I would have to say it comes down to being organized, planning out each week carefully, using time wisely. I get up a bit earlier so I can commute to work by bike and am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who cooks dinner each night to allow me time to fit in a training session after work. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you really want to do something!