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Cat Faux: Belvoir win, 2014 plans
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 29th May 2014


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This weekend saw the magnificent Leicestershire Castle host the Belvoir Castle Triathlon, the early season middle distance race hosted by the team at Just Racing UK. The weather was uninviting but didn't stop the cheerful spectators and tenacious competitors.

Exclusively for Tri247, ladies winner Catherine Faux tells us how it went and what this year holds in store for her - a year which will see Challenge Roth as he primary summer target.

That name should be familiar to you - as Tri247 Editor John Levison put forward a strong case that in Kona last year Cat produced arguably... the greatest female Age Group Ironman performance ever. A 17 minute victory margin at Belvoir Castle suggests she has started 2014 rather well too.


Congratulations on winning the Belvoir Castle Triathlon - ‘The Beaver' - one of the UK's first middle distance events of the year. How do you feel it went?

Thank you, I really enjoyed racing (despite the torrential rain), and am pleased and relieved with having had a good race; this is the only race I've ever DNF'd - last time I competed in the Belvoir Castle Triathlon in 2012, I pulled out part way through the run due to illness, but learnt some important lessons on the day.

Will it help you in progressing to longer distance triathlon events later on in the year?

I really enjoy middle distance triathlon, you can race more often than iron-distance (which helps keep the fire alive!), and it forms good training. It's a pleasure to take part in such well-run local races.

I'm graduating this summer, starting real life and a proper job in August, so my main focus is Challenge Roth in July. I'm also looking forward to competing in Outlaw Half this coming weekend. The full-distance Outlaw was my first ever win in 2011, so it holds good memories and it'll be cool to return.

How did you find the Belvoir Castle Triathlon Course and atmosphere?

‘The Beaver' has a very scenic course and the conditions added to the challenge; some of the corners on the bike were a little hairy so I took them pretty easy (better to be upright and slow, than fast and on the floor!). The roads are nice and quiet with good variation including long stretches where you can put the power through the pedals. I know some people don't favour lapped courses, but it's useful if your parents miss you (I'm terrible at predicting when they need to look out for me!), and a real boost every time on the run or bike you get to pass transition with all the support. Out-and-back runs also allow you to have a good idea of where your competitors are!

I need to say a huge thanks to the supporters and marshalls – standing in the rain is a bit miserable, but everyone was brilliantly British and stoic about it – smiley, encouraging and enthusiastic (despite sodden).

The hills are particularly steep – how did these effect your race?

The course includes Harby Hill which you have to go up three times in the race. They're not much compared to hills in the Peaks, but more than you get in most races. The hill is on the route that I cycle home from Sheffield (where I study), to Stamford. It seemed huge the first time but has shrunk over the years. I like the variety it adds to the course.

Catherine Faux

Congratulations on recently qualifying to become a Doctor, this is a huge achievement, what are your thoughts on turning pro – are you still keen to remain as an age grouper?

Thanks very much. I think over the next couple of years I need to focus on being a decent doctor so will be taking a step back from racing. I definitely don't rule out racing seriously in the future if it is an option.

Bridgtown Cycles are now supporting you, how is this helping you achieve your goals this year alongside your other sponsors?

I am so thankful to Mike at Bridgtown Cycles; he looks after me incredibly well and the attention to detail is the edge in terms of their service and my performance. They provided me with a new Trek Speed Concept before ‘The Beaver' (possibly a bit too new, as I'd only ridden it up and down the road a couple of times, breaking the ‘never use new kit for the first time in a race' rule…). I was a little apprehensive especially considering the conditions, but it feels scary fast, and the Kask Bambino helmet definitely helped in the driving rain! The new bike will also put me in a great position for full distance races as the bike section is the longest part of the race.

I am also very lucky to be supported by HUUB with a thin and flexible wetsuit, and some recent swim analysis by Swimsmooth. Skinfit provide me with kit, though I didn't get to show off the new trisuit since I had to layer up for warmth! Another reason I love racing is because I get more excuses to scoff Clif Bar.

Without all of these sponsors and my coach Judith Brand I wouldn't be able to achieve the results I do.

Finally do you have any advice for young triathletes out there who are worried about balancing work/studying with training?

I don't know if I am the best person to ask. I don't do things by halves so I tend to do no work all year, then cram for exams! It's worked so far… I think you have to figure out your priorities with work, play, social, church, sanity... and you can do one or two things well, and others reasonably. Some things have to take a hit. Every year I look back and marvel at how the previous year I thought I was busy. Life only ever gets more manic, so grab opportunities!

We wish Cat all the best with what sounds like a packed year ahead, follow her on Twitter @catherinerfaux.

Find all the Belvoir Castle results plus any of the other events hosted by Just Racing UK by visiting www.justracinguk.com or follow the team on Facebook or Twitter for more information.


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