What inspired you to try a triathlon?A friend persuaded me to join him to do a tandem triathlon – where one of you swims (that was me) – both of you cycle on a tandem and then the other one runs (luckily not me!). After a few years he told me he was learning to swim so I was ‘inspired’ to start running, start my solo triathlon career and do more than one race a year.
Member profile - Louise Alan-Smith
Where and when was your first triathlon? What was the distance?Other than a couple of tandem triathlons – my first solo effort was the South Cerney Summer Sizzler in 1996. It was an open water sprint distance race. I was the only one without a wetsuit and probably the only one on a mountain bike – I managed to find my slicks though.
Do you have a favourite race? Not really. I did St Mawes sprint for the first time this year which had a lovely swim, a challenging bike and a hardish run. The organiser also sorted out a decent pasta meal at the sailing club the night before – what more could you want?
Describe your first ever bike I can’t remember that far back… I think it was a Moulton Major (with small wheels but not trendy and foldable). My first race bike was a lovely second hand Dawes with a purple frame.
Where does your bike live? Currently they’re in the hall. They will be banished to the shed once it is bought, built, reinforced and alarmed.
One piece of advice you would give a triathlon newbieJust have a go – you’re probably much fitter than you think. Find someone who’s happy to answer any questions you have.
Where's your favourite place to ride?Probably Majorca - but closer to home Kent takes some beating.
Do you have any pre-race rituals and meals? What are they?Rituals: Making sure I have the relevant kit – my well worn checklist is now about 15 years old.
Meals: I generally have a large bowl of pasta and a glass of red the night before.
Favourite post-race drink/snack?Milky coffee and a bacon buttie.
Do you prefer to train alone or with a group?Prefer to train with a group but with evening and weekend working it’s a rarity these days.
What do you carry with you when you train?Usual stuff but I try not to forget my RoadID.
Do you run to music? If so, what's your favourite?No – I like to focus fully on my lack of effort.
Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?Waxed.
Ironman - Yes/No/Again?Never again – once was enough.
Ironman tattoo - Yes/No/Where?No – it made enough of an impression on me at the time.
What do you do in the real world, outside triathlon?Part-time sports masseur (discount for CPT members) and soon to be made redundant part-time HR systems advisor.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?Michael Johnson, Meryl Streep, William Boyd.
What are you currently reading?I’ve finally got round to The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.
What was the last film you saw?True Grit
What’s next for you?St Mawes was the end of the tri season for me. I may have to fulfil those conveniently forgotten resolutions to do my first parkrun and some duathlons this winter….