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Meet the Outlaws: Suzie Richards
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 28th May 2015


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Suzie Richards targets Outlaw Half podium

At Loughborough University Suzie Richards was a top cross country and 10,000m runner, now she's making a name for herself in triathlon and will be aiming for the podium in her first middle distance race at this weekend's Outlaw Half (Sunday 31 May).

We had a chat to find out more about the 28 year old from Somerset, who is now (like much of the rest of the triathlon world!), based in Leeds.


What's your best performance to date?

In 2014 I managed to notch up five overall race wins, my best being gold at the World Duathlon Age Group Championship in Pontevedra, June 2014. I also won Stockton Duathlon and the Slateman, Sandman and Snowman Triathlons.

How has your season been going so far?

My first Triathlon of the season was the Slateman in Llamberis, North Wales earlier this month. I was really happy to retain my title. I was three minutes quicker on the bike this year compared to last year and again faster up the Quarry Man challenge on the run, improving on last year's time by 30seconds. So, winter training has gone well, and I am definitely fitter and stronger than last year. I have spent a lot of time fixing my right achilles that I battered just a bit too much last season, so took several months off running as I wanted to get it completely sorted.

Suzi Richards

What are you hoping for at the Outlaw Half?

Having never done a Half distance race I am not really sure about times. I also don't know who else is racing, I tend to not look at the start lists, maybe its a superstitious thing, but I'd rather just find out who I am up against on race day. I know from the last few weeks that I am in good shape but going longer, the nutrition plays a bigger part and there are many more things that can go wrong, such as a bike mechanical. So realistically I just want to give a good account of myself over all three disciplines and finish knowing I gave it my best shot.

What's your key strength?

I have come from a running background, so I still like to think my running is my key strength but recently my cycling is quickly catching up. I would say I am a strong bike-runner with swimming being my weakest discipline.

Suzi Richards

How did you get into triathlon?

I grew up playing a whole range of sports and was fairly decent but never the best. I competed for the Avon county team in Netball, Hockey, Tennis, Athletics and Cross Country, gradually focusing my energy on running with Bristol AC. I concentrated purely on running while studying at Loughborough University.

When I graduated I moved to London for my first job and joined Herne Hill Athletics Club, continued running cross country and road races, discovered some of the runners were also triathletes, bought a bike, entered a Duathlon in the summer of 2011, then a triathlon and the rest is history! I moved to Leeds in October 2011 for a new job and joined Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club and attended my very first coached swim session. 2012 was my first proper triathlon season.

What does the rest of your season look like after this?

My result at Outlaw will decide if I race Ironman UK in the pro line up or as an age grouper. I am not entirely sure what I need to do to receive a pro licence but a good result at Outlaw is essential. Ironman UK in July will be my first Ironman so I will probably take a while to recover from it!

Suzi Richards

What are you most looking forward to about the Outlaw Half?

I have heard so many great things about Outlaw, the organisation and atmosphere are meant to be incredible. I'm looking forward to testing myself over the longer half distance and just having a good day out.

What advice would you give to novices doing the race?

Enjoy it, have fun. Often people say to me "you look so chilled out before a race." Of course I get nervous like everyone else but I have come to realise that on race day there is nothing you can do except get out there and do your best. You choose to do this, so you may as well have as much fun as possible.

Anything you want to add?

Triathlon is very much a team sport, even though it comes down to you as an individual racing on the day, there are so many people who are part of the journey. This year I am being supported by RaceSkin for my kit, OTE nutrition for my race and training fuel, Always Aim High for Salomon trainers and running gear and The Movement Therapy centre for mobility and functional strength work and expertise.

Suzi Richards

I am coached by Louise Barron, who is one of the coaches at TheTriathlonCoach.com. I would never have become a world age group Duathlon Champion if it wasn't for her. Being based in Leeds I am also very fortunate to get lots of help and advice from Simon Ward, Jack Maitland and Fiona Hoare.

Leeds is a great place to live, work and train. I often train with the local AlbaRosa cycle club, Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club and Leeds masters swim groups. Training with these guys, helps me survive the early mornings and long training days in the Yorkshire hills. Most of the time I don't feel like I am 'training' I am just out having fun on the bike or running on the trails with my boyfriend and our friends.

Good luck to Suzie, and everyone else doing the Outlaw Half this weekend.

Suzi Richards


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