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Mrs February – Claire Sargeant

Why did you choose to take up triathlon and how did you get into it?

I kind of ‘fell into’ triathlons. It was briefly suggested by my friend Amber who is now also a Beccles Triathlete. It was then mentioned again after doing the London 10k winter wonderland. Triathlons appealed to me. I fancied the challenge, I wanted to try something new. What was the worst that could happen? If I didn’t like it I hadn’t lost anything. From there we booked the East Coast Triathlon at GY with probably a month to train. I managed a couple of swims, ordered a dodgy bike off the internet and managed a few cycles before the event.

Tell us about your pre triathlon sporting history and school sports

I was very sporty during school and university years in Hockey, athletics and cross country, in fact there wasn’t much I wouldn’t have a go at! Hockey was definitely my favourite and manged to play at club and county level, I tried out for East of England team but didn’t get any further. Therefore, I have a some running background but minimal swimming and cycling experience!

What was your first event?

Great Yarmouth was the first event in April 2019. It was incredibly windy, and a weather warning had been issued and there were restrictions on certain bikes. Setting up in transitions was a steep learning curve. I remember asking a chap next to me how to set up the bike, then getting my kit out of a drawstring bag whilst his was neatly packed in regimented order with spares of everything and thinking that was a good idea! However, I then realised how under prepared I was. I found the swim and cycle hard. Found during the swim difficulty in getting my breathing into a rhythm and feeling the pressure of someone following behind me. Could barely stay on my bike and virtually brought bike to a stop to manage the right turns- not great on a clockwise circuit of 3 laps! I was relieved to reach the run as I’m familiar with it, but I was shattered and couldn’t feel my legs. I remember crying with elation as I reached the finished line- just through sense of achievement and completing the challenge. From this Tri, I quickly realised I loved triathlons, I was hooked, I wanted to get better and would definitely need some training and support!

Me and my partner in crime finishing our first triathlon.

What been you best and worse incidents to date?

Best has to be completing my first triathlon at Great Yarmouth and also Stowmarket as I felt the disciplines were coming together and I was improving. Worst has to be Ipswich Pennisular Tri where I got a puncture along with a fellow triathlete and couldn’t fix my bike and had to pull out. I was gutted. It was the first event my children had come to see, they were grumpy and bored and to top it off they didn’t get to see mum in action! However, it made me realise you learn from every race which makes you better and more prepared for the next- hopefully!

Swimming, Cycling or Running? What is your favourite discipline?

Running has to be my favourite discipline, probably because I feel most comfortable with it and have been doing this the longest. I’m not fast but I enjoy it. I’m starting to enjoy cycling because you get to see so much beautiful countryside which we miss when travelling the car and obviously the various cake tasting is always welcome and its sociable.

My favourite gadget/piece of equipment.

It has to be my Garmin watch closely followed by the Element Bolt bike computer.

Picture was taken at North Walsham Tri, my 3rd triathlon and as you can see still nervous on the bike! Things have improved a little since then, but this is definitely an area I need to improve. So, I’ve signed up for Winter tour de Broads and have started to go to a couple of club rides. With any luck I’ll be able to turn ‘right’ at speed soon and use the water bottle whilst cycling!

Ambitions for 2020 and beyond and races and events I have on my bucket list.

For 2020 my ambition is to complete the Holkham half, completely reasonable considering I have competed in anything more than a sprint triathalon and have done two taster sessions in open water swimming! This I’m doing with Janey and Donna, for which I hold them completely responsible!!!! My other aim is not to be on the last page of the Beccles tri results! In fact just to improve on any previous races would be an achievement. I’d so like at some point to take part in an event overseas!

What and who keeps you motivated?

My family, who are proud of me and support me keep me motivated. I’m finding the training, the achievements and the challenges of the sport enable me to focus on something else, to achieve, to de-stress which in turn I feel makes me a better- less grumpy mum and wife! Amber who I started and continue this venture with, and Beccles Tri keep me motivated as they give encouragement and training advice.

The picture on the left was taken at North Walsham Tri and was thoroughly enjoying it. I felt that I was making progress. The picture on the right was taken at Stowmarket tri. The race hadn’t finished and we couldn’t retrieve our bikes so we thought we’d have time for a quick shower and change. Slightly embarrassing when we came out, all bikes had gone, the car park was empty no spectators or triathletes but a marshal and our bikes!

Why Beccles Tri Club?

Beccles Tri Club because it was mentioned by a friend Laura who suggested it. She said they ran good training session and were a friendly bunch- all of which is true!

Sheringham Woodlands Tri. A very wet and dreary day! However the added live commentary in transition and at the finishing line was fab!

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