What inspired you to try a triathlon?I started running in my early twenties, had done a few road races and in 2003 started swimming regularly after a knee op; a friend at work had recently done the London Triathlon and I thought I would like to give it a go. It took me a couple of years to get round to it though.
Member profile - Suse Fairfax
Where and when was your first triathlon? What was the distance?Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon in 2005. I was using it as a dummy run for London Tri (which I never actually did as I got knocked off my bike a few weeks before, resulting in a plaster cast arm). I entered the Crystal Palace race and then immediately decided that it would be a good idea to join the Club as well to make the training a bit more enjoyable and I’ve been here ever since. Some CPT members were kind enough to lend me a trisuit and a road bike otherwise I never would have made it up that hill 9 times. It was amazing though and the support is second to none.
Do you have a favourite race? To be honest not really. I can’t think of any races that I haven’t enjoyed, (bar the London Marathon 2009 – that was 3.5 hours of pain) so it’s difficult to pick one.
I’ve done the Dambuster the last couple of years and really enjoyed that race. It has a nice open water swim, a good rolling bike course and a flattish run which probably suits me best.
Describe your first ever bike Without stabilisers - a brown shopper with a basket, mmmm. I was very jealous of my brothers’ BMX and Chopper. But my first race bike was a Specialised Dolce, which I still use for commuting and winter bike rides. After 5 years of racing, I finally bought a new (and my second) bike in 2010 – a Planet X – and the difference is amazing. I’m pleased to say that I’m pretty fast now on the bike – just need to work on the other two disciplines a bit more.
Where does your bike live? In the shed – it lived in doors for the first few weeks but finally got relegated.
One piece of advice you would give a triathlon newbieI’d like to say something original but probably the same as everyone else. Enjoy the race, you’ve worked hard to get there so smile and soak it up. You’ll be on a high for a few weeks after crossing your first finishing line so you might as well start enjoying it on the start line.
Where's your favourite place to ride?Anywhere sunny and warm and with friends. Our Sunday route goes into Kent and you can usually find somewhere good to ride.
I’ve only cycled in Europe a few times but have had some pretty good rides – climbing Alpe D’Huez in 2011, if not really a favourite, was a good achievement for me.
Do you have any pre-race rituals and meals? What are they?No rituals as such. Breakfast is usually a cinnamon and raisin bagel, banana, cup of tea and a lot of water. For a longer race I might take a gel before the start.
Favourite post-race drink/snack?Anything – but I do like Vanilla FGS and also peanut butter and banana on toast goes down well with a cuppa.
Do you prefer to train alone or with a group?When I was training for Ironman I preferred to train alone, especially on the bike so I could get used to the feeling of doing all the work for many, many, many hours, but mostly I enjoy training with the club.
What do you carry with you when you train?The usuals – on the bike, money, food, drink, mobile; on a long run a drink and some jelly babies.
Do you run to music? If so, what's your favourite?Yes, when training. My other half tells me I have no taste in music and the fact that I often listen to musicals when running is testament to that.... I may have just shared too much.
Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?Shaved.
Ironman - Yes/No/Again?Yes – and hopefully again, but I don’t have as much time to train as I did previously so not sure when the next one will be.
Ironman tattoo - Yes/No/Where?Definitely no. Tattoos aren’t my thing. I got an Ironman charm made for a bracelet that I wear everyday though.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?Arrgh, I hate this question, I can never decide. For now, Sean Lock, Gene Kelly and Queen Victoria.
What are you currently reading?How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, a Christmas present. Perhaps my partner is trying to tell me something? But girls you should read it, very funny and alarmingly accurate.
What was the last film you saw?127 hours was on TV the other night. I read the book a few years ago and thought the guy was a bit of an idiot to be honest, not that I want to take away from the very traumatic and harrowing act of cutting your own arm off. But it goes to show you should always let someone know where you’re going and carry a mobile - quick tip for you all for Sunday riders.
What’s next for you?I haven’t decided - I wanted to do another Ironman this year but haven’t mentally committed myself to it yet. I also need to work on my running as I seem to be getting slower!