Spotlight on ……. Amy Kilpin aka @akilpin

Amy didn’t own a bike in 2012 but now she races in the ultimate in Triathlons as does fairly well at it too!

  • What made you get into cycling/triathlon?

I ran a few marathons and was a bit of a ‘box ticker’ so was looking for the next challenge. My first triathlon was in 2012 in London and I swam the swim with breast stroke and my head above the water. I couldn’t swim front crawl at all so when I decided to take it up properly I had to go and get lessons! I also had a second hand old Dawes Giro road bike I bought off eBay for £100! I hadn’t cycled since I was a kid so this took a lot of getting used to. Gradually, as I went through the distances, I decided the ultimate goal would be an Ironman. The idea was that I would give up triathlons after that and move onto the next thing, but I got bitten by the bug and in 2014 started racing a bit more competitively as my results improved!

  • What has been your proudest/best moment?

My first race of this year, the 2015 season, was a half Ironman in Malaysia, Putrajaya 70.3, and my aim was to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Despite the brutal heat (37 degrees) and insane humidity I managed to come 3rd in my age group and get my first big international podium spot. What’s more, I did qualify for the World Championships so it was probably my proudest moment so far!

  • What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?

I’m not sure there is one particular challenge that sticks out because everything is relative – it always seems like a challenge if you are setting yourself new goals and targets, and this type of training certainly doesn’t come easy. On a day to day basis, training seems like a challenge but yet carries so much reward. I think if I had to pinpoint one it was probably my first Ironman because it is such a foray into the unknown!

  • Who is your inspiration, and why?

I have many inspirational figures, I think Chrissie Wellington has to be up there, as well as Bella Bayliss who I worked with earlier this year in Lanzarote. They have done great things for encouraging more women and children into triathlon. I love reading about great cyclists too, Cavendish, Froome, Wiggo’s books are all on my shelf, and Steven Roche of course!

  • What are your future goals?

I aim to continue enjoying triathlon as much as I do, meeting great people and going to great places. I’d also like to qualify for Kona, the Ironman World Championships, one day!

  • What would be your one piece of essential advice to someone looking to start up cycling/triathlon? 

I think you have to enjoy it! But at the same time, determination is key. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it for ‘fun’ or for competition, you need a level of determination to get out of bed in the morning and train, to complete a certain distance, or to achieve your own mini goals. All the while, if you don’t enjoy it there is no point. It’s supposed to be fun and it’s supposed to enhance your life. Meet new people, make new friends, see new things and achieve things you never thought you would. You won’t look back.

  • What is your favourite piece of kit?

Probably my Rotor cranks and QRING, everyone loves a good power device these days! This kit is essential to benchmarking pacing and improvements in cycling so I am very honoured to be supported by them.

  • What’s your favourite thing about cycling/triathlon?

Everything! I love it. It’s such a wonderful inclusive sport. The thing I love most about triathlon is that you never get bored training for three disciplines; there’s always variety and it’s always changing. I have met some amazing people and have been to some amazing places. I am fitter than I have ever been or ever imagined I would be, and my life is markedly richer for having triathlon in it. Being on my bike in the sun somewhere is the happiest I can be!

  • As it’s Women in Sport Week what do you think is the biggest challenge for women in sport, & how do you overcome them?

I don’t think there is a challenge for women in sport at all, I completely disagree. I think the challenge is the PERCEPTION of women’s sport. It doesn’t attain enough investment, enough media coverage, or enough kudos for the inspirational female athletes out there and what they are achieving. The problem is that it is secondary to men’s sport, and that absolutely needs to change. It’s a cultural thing so it won’t change overnight, it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of campaigning and it’s something I have been involved in and am passionate about. Female sporting role models need to be widely publicised and their achievements celebrated, it needs to become more mainstream and it needs to become a matter of course. It’s going in the right direction and is gaining more traction, so we need this trend to continue and to proliferate.