I’ve met some pretty awesome people through racing and this lady is definitely one of them. Jac holds multiple world, European and British titles in Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon. But most impressively consistently beats men and women half her age.
Jacqui and her husband Mark also set up and run TRiKS Triathlon which has recently added a family membership as part of its packages
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your multisport journey…
I come from a cycling background but I had to give that up when I had my first child. I then took up running as it was easier to get out for short runs than long bike rides, joined a run club and got quite fast. I’d never even heard of triathlon until an old cycling friend of mine suggested I do a local triathlon with her as she thought I might be good at it. I was in need of a new challenge so, in 2007 at the age of 40, I did my first triathlon using my original 1986 road bike. I came 3rd, loved it and haven’t looked back since. Having to re-learn to swim has been the hardest part as I hadn’t been in a pool, apart from aqua aerobics when I was pregnant, since school. But I joined a local club started entering more races and made some good friends. The same friend encouraged me to try to qualify for the GB team and I have now represented my country a number of times since 2009, winning lots of titles which has made me very proud. I am lucky that my husband Mark is my biggest supporter so we really are a team and I share all my success with him.
2. What’s been your proudest achievement to date?
I’m very lucky as I have a lot of proud moments to choose from but I think my best achievement must definitely be winning the World Triathlon Champs last Sept in Mexico. It was my 4th attempt (previously 3rd, 2nd & 4th) and the standard is so high and the event is so big I was starting to think I would never quite make it. But everything went perfectly on the day, I had a brilliant race and won my AG by over a minute. Mark was on the finish line too so that was a very special moment.
3. Anything you’ve learnt the hard way?
I seem to have learnt everything the hard way I think, that’s just the way it is with triathlon! But probably the biggest lesson was when I raced in the National Championships and didn’t really concentrate in transition before the race (too much chatting) I managed to put my KASK Bambino helmet on backwards as I had placed it the wrong way round in transition and did the whole bike leg looking like a smurf! I also threw away the Gold medal as I couldn’t then get it off and spent almost a minute in T2! So, it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, it is still possible to stuff it up on the day if you don’t prepare or focus properly.
4. What one piece of advice would you give to new triathletes starting out?
Join your local club. It’s the best way to make friends, learn all about the sport and get some great advice and support.
5. If you could only do one discipline swim, bike or run for the next 5 years which would it be and why?
Definitely the bike! I couldn’t imagine not being able to just get out there in the sunshine and blow the cobwebs away pedalling round the country lanes. My favorite thing to do is go to the French Alps or Mallorca, find a huge Col and start climbing. Most of our holidays involve getting away in the camper van with the bikes on the back. I do love running though so would miss that. I wouldn’t mind if I never swam again!
6. Something which might surprise us about you…?
I am still a bit scared of open water and don’t ever swim in the sea unless I’m in a race. It’s taken a long time for me to feel happy in deep water and I used to swim with my eyes shut in case I saw a fish!
7. And finally, tell us a hit about your favorite bike and why?
Oh that’s easy! I have always longed for a Colnago since I saw one at a cycle show in the mid-eighties. They all have beautiful paint jobs, built with Italian style and are still quite rare in the UK. My husband bought me a C60 (top of the range) road bike last year when I started doing draft legal races. She’s silver and smoky grey with gold, hand painted lugs – just beautiful! She was with me when I won the Worlds and I will never sell her.
To find out more out TRiKS head over to www.triks.co.uk