Time has flown by and it has suddenly been three months since we last wrote a “One Year to Go Pro” update! The months of April and May were great for us in many ways. Rich and I are very happy to report that we have been able to swim, bike and run consistently with pools reopened, injuries overcome and weather improving.

A priority after the endless British winter was to get off the turbos and get out on our bikes as much as possible whenever the rain allowed. We have been enjoying beautiful bike rides in the Lake District and getting more confident riding in TT position with different conditions – wind, bumpy roads, cornering, descents, traffic etc. With uncertainty over our Ironman 70.3 races going ahead this year or the possibility of travelling, Rich decided to try and qualify for Utah World Champs 2021 through a virtual race. He absolutely smashed his race and qualified. Read his race report here – https://tri2.org/2021/05/03/ironman-70-3-vr-virtual-richards-race-report/

In the lead up to the possibility of an actual event going ahead (Southport Olympic Triathlon – 16th May) we invested in some disc covers by EZdisc in a bid to save some watts without spending too much cash. They are a great and affordable alternative to disc wheels so check them out at https://ezdisc.co.uk/

So race day at Southport arrived. This was an olympic distance so we didn’t set our expectations too high but were just excited at the opportunity to race. With only a few weeks of pool training and little to no open water swimming (so cold – still snow on the mountains!), the duck pond of Southport was a little daunting. However, we had a great time camping in our campervan for the first time at the venue. We were both so happy to be surrounded by triathletes again and the whole experience was awesome – a credit to Epic Events!  Sophie achieved her goal of fastest female bike split and also came 5th overall, 2nd in her age group. Read her race report here

It was straight back to training after Southport and contemplating the next race – Elsinore 70.3 in Denmark for the European Championships. This was an A race for us and one that we were super excited and ready for. We kept watching the news and praying that Boris would miraculously add a few European countries to the green list in order for us to travel (Rich had been planning on driving Victor the campervan through Netherlands and Germany to reach Denmark).We kept our places and kept our spot at the campsite right up until the last minute. We received and read the athlete guide and learnt that Lucy Charles is planning to race there too. However, with two weeks to go, and no way to travel there without quarantining, we had to defer this race to 2022. Another race bites the dust.

At the same time, an announcement was made for Bolton to host an Ironman 70.3 in September as a one-off event. With so much uncertainty surrounding travel, we decided that we wanted one ‘safe bet’ and a proper race to look forward to and train for. However, that also meant sacrificing our Utah World Champs dreams. Another Ironman 70.3 race deferred.

(Desaru 70.3 2020 deferred to Weymouth 2020, deferred to Sardinia 70.3 2021, Taupo 70.3 World Championship 2020 deferred to Utah World Championship 70.3 2021 now deferred to Taupo 70.3 World Championship 2022, Mallorca 70.3 2021 in May postponed to September)

Races that are still “on the cards” are Zell Am See 70.3 in August, Bolton 70.3 in September, Mallorca 70.3 and Sardinia 70.3 in October and now Taupo in December 2022 (will be over 3 years after I actually qualified). 

We still hold on to hopes of the possibility of turning professional. We know that we still have a long way to go. We also know that a year was an ambitious time frame. It would be great to have a race and an opportunity to prove how far we have come. This will help us to work out whether our dreams are achievable. No matter the outcome of this year, we have loved the opportunity to train full time and test our minds and bodies – pushing them as far as they can go. Alongside our own training, we have loved coaching our Tri2 athletes and want to continue to help others achieve their triathlon goals. 

Sophie has enjoyed some virtual events and getting to know her fellow Neuff Red team members online. She is looking forward to meeting other ambassadors, pros and all Neuff Redders at events in the future. If you haven’t already, check out their website, read their blogs and check out the tri kit for sale at neuffred.co.uk.

We would like to thank our other sponsors too for their continued support. We love Team Purpose for letting us wear their incredible kit! We love Xendurance for helping us in training with all our nutritional needs! Their gels and Fuel 5 carbs give us all the energy we need for training and race days.

And finally, the month of June was the month we GOT ENGAGED!! We are hoping to have some more exciting life news in the near future too. In 2 months we will be at the end of our One Year To Go Pro challenge. Stay tuned to find out what happens and our plans for the next steps in our journey.

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