What inspired you to try a triathlon?I watched the triathlon in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and thought, I can swim, I can ride a bike and I can run, how hard can it be?!
Member profile - Karen Ayers
Where and when was your first triathlon? What was the distance?Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon on 28 May 2001. 438m / 21k / 5k. I finished in 1:32:04. I’ve done that race five times now, with a PB of 1:16:05.
Do you have a favourite race? Probably Brighton Marina. It’s in between a Sprint and a Standard distance. It’s a real back to basics event with no frills, no t-shirts or goody bags, and you have to run through the Marina shopping centre to get to transition! The swim is salty but flat, as it’s in the inner Marina, the bike is two tough laps, climbing up to the racecourse on the Downs, but with an exceptionally fast downhill (as long as you don't get caught behind a bus) and the run is a flat out and back along the undercliff promenade (which Ruki thinks is boring!). The Marina is a great place for a post-race breakfast too!
Describe your first ever bike I can’t remember the first bike I had as a child, but I bought my first road bike soon after joining CPT. It was a bright yellow Dawes and weighed a ton compared to the carbon bikes we ride today. The photo shows me heading for T2 at my first triathlon (as above).
Where does your bike live? Bruce and I have quite a collection of bikes between us so have three sheds to house the bikes, turbos and related paraphernalia. Bruce isn't satisfied with a 'Man drawer' so has extended his collection to a 'Man shed'. If you haven't seen Michael McIntyre's 'Man drawer' sketch you can view on YouTube.
One piece of advice you would give a triathlon newbieEnjoy it.
Where's your favourite place to ride?The hilly roads around our property in Huercal Overa, south eastern Spain. We have organised a couple of training camps that have been enjoyed by CPT members and another in 2012, so come with us, there are still places left!
Do you have any pre-race rituals and meals? What are they?I eat Oats so Simple porridge, golden syrup flavour, with brown sugar, which I struggle to swallow, it reminds me of all those early Ironman sessions, but it does help me get round.
Favourite post-race drink/snack?A bacon buttie, no ketchup and a cup of 'builders' tea.
Do you prefer to train alone or with a group?Definitely with a group, as long as they don’t leave me behind.
What do you carry with you when you train?Sun block for the scar on my nose, Vaseline for my lips and my migraine tablets.
Do you run to music? If so, what's your favourite?I haven’t found any earphones that will stay in my ears. I'm not saying they are big or anything!
Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?Shaved in the summer, hidden in jeans and boots in the winter!
Ironman - Yes/No/Again?Never, absolutely not, unless I get the chance to do Challenge Cairns one day! Cycling the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns to Port Douglas alongside the Great Barrier Reef sounds very tempting, but perhaps I won't spoil a good holiday!
Ironman tattoo - Yes/No/Where?Yes, on my right leg, just above my ankle.
What do you do in the real world, outside triathlon?Is there anything else? I am a web administrator for a large pharmaceutical company, working on their dotcom and internal websites.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp and Patrick Swazye.
What are you currently reading?I finished reading The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf on the train this morning and started reading The Distance Between Us by Maggie O'Farrell on the train home.
What was the last film you saw?Don’t go to the cinema very often. Fell asleep in too many children’s films with Matthew. Watched Pirates of the Caribbean for the umpteenth time on the TV recently.