Watch­ing the Bei­jing Olympics, Laura Sid­dall had no idea that triathlon was about to be­come her life as well…

Triathlon Plus - - Contents -

Laura Sid­dall talks about her cur­rent achieve­ments and dreams of Kona.

LAURA SID­DALL Age 36 Home Cur­rently in Christchurch, New Zealand, but lives and trains around the world Oc­cu­pa­tion Pro­fes­sional triath­lete (former me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer) Ca­reer high­lights Vic­tory at Chal­lenge Poz­nan 2016 (first pro­fes­sional win); sub-nine-hour fin­ish at Chal­lenge Roth 2016; Gold at the World Cham­pi­onships in 2011 (sprint), 2012 and 2013 (Olympic dis­tance). Win­ner of the Noosa Triathlon and Gee­long Triathlon (Open Age) 2012

I’D AL­WAYS BEEN sporty and, at univer­sity, rep­re­sented Eng­land at a ju­nior level in net­ball and ath­let­ics.

Af­ter mov­ing to Syd­ney for work, I strug­gled to fit ath­let­ics into my new life. When a col­league sug­gested triathlon, I en­rolled in a rookie course, but I wanted to do the more in­ter­est­ing ses­sions that the ex­pe­ri­enced triath­letes were do­ing.

En­ter­ing the Bus­sel­ton Iron­man af­ter one sprint was a bit of an eye-opener… I re­alised I’d jumped ahead too soon and went back to im­prov­ing my skills for sprint and Olympic dis­tances.

In 2010, I com­peted for GB at the World Cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest and was stunned to fin­ish sec­ond in the sprint (rac­ing on a bor­rowed bike af­ter mine was stolen!) The fol­low­ing year, I took gold – be­com­ing the fastest fe­male over­all. That race was a piv­otal mo­ment in my ca­reer.

Af­ter win­ning the Olympic dis­tance the fol­low­ing year, I was ready to in­crease the dis­tance again and came 11th at the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onships in 2013. Just a week later, I de­fended my Olympic dis­tance ti­tle in Lon­don, then turned pro­fes­sional.

There’s still a long way to go in terms of what I can im­prove on, and there are so many great races out there, but I’d love to do Chal­lenge Wanaka and Roth again, more Euro­pean races and, of course, Kona. I don’t have long left in the sport, so I want to make the most of my time and push my lim­its as much as I can.

Laura is in­volved in the global move­ment morethans­port.org

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