In the first of a regular feature where we get to know one of our sponsored athletes, we meet Catherine Jameson.
British pro Cat competes in the 5150 triathlon series but also races a lot in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Where’s home for you? I currently live in Loughborough as its a great location for triathlon but I am originally from the Lake District.
Do you remember when you had your first bike? When was it and what was it? I’ve always had bikes growing up that mum and dad bought me but I started triathlon just over 4 years ago so I never had a proper racing bike until then. When I was just a swimmer I had a mountain bike to get me round university and to and from the pool which I called “Betty”. I still have Betty but unfortunately she is a little rusty these days and doesn’t get much fresh air! My first actual triathlon bike was a lovely white and red Felt, again that my Dad got me. I don’t race on “Feltie” these days but I did use her for my winter training this year.
How did you get into triathlons? I got into triathlon due to my husband Joel, who is also a professional long distance triathlete. Whilst studying at Loughborough University I was just a swimmer in the high performance squad. However, after finishing my masters degree I was unsure what to do next and Joel convinced me to give a triathlon a shot. For my first one I hadn’t done any biking or running so it was pretty painful but it was such a great day I knew I needed to start training to do another one.
What has been your career highlight to date? I would say there are two races that stand out for me, one being one of my first races and the other being the race I did last month! In my first year I qualified for the Age Group world championships in Budapest which was only my 4th ever triathlon. Mum and Dad came out with me for the week so we could have a holiday too, it was nice and relaxed. The atmosphere was amazing, I met some lovely people, we had lots of fun and I had a great race finishing 6th overall. The other race I’m proud of is the race I did just a month ago, Challenge Fuerteventura. It was my first ever half distance race, so I was a little nervous especially racing a world class field against the likes of Daniela Ryf. I had a great swim and bike, despite a mechanical and ran in 3rd until the last few kilometres but I ended up 7th. I learnt so much from it and fingers crossed it’ll be onwards and upwards.
What do you want to achieve this year? I guess most people would say to get as many podiums as possible which is what I am hoping for too but I also want to develop as an athlete. I’m still learning so much about the sport and what works for me especially moving to longer distance racing.
Have you ever had a bike stolen? Luckily I haven’t… but I have great insurance with Pedalcover incase the worst happens!
Have you ever crashed/had a bike accident? Thankfully I haven’t had too many crashes. I don’t really remember any other than one a few years back whilst racing a French Grand Prix in Nice. It was a very messy drafting race with a massive pack out on the bike. I remember being near the front of the group when one of the girls tried to squeeze through a pretty non existent gap causing her drops to somehow tangle with the girl next to her. To cut a long story short it basically took down everyone in the group. It was carnage and I think I flew straight over my handle bars. I came out of it fairly well compared to some of the others just suffering from the normal road rash, cuts and bruises. My bike came off a little worse as I didn’t realise my drops were carbon and then had split right down the middle. That was my race over.
Why do you think it’s important to have insurance? Having insurance is a no brainer. You just can’t predict what’s round the corner so as they say “it’s better to be safe than sorry”. Pedalcover makes sorting out the best policy for you stress free so it only takes a minute to know your fully covered and you can get on with what you enjoy doing.
Why are you happy to be involved in Pedalcover Insurance? Pedalcover is made up of such a happy, lovely bunch of people. They are the only insurance company I have every known that actually understand what we do as athletes and fit cover specifically round your personal needs. They are honest and you get great advice on the best policy for your circumstances.
What’s been your most embarrassing moment? I don’t think I have anything too crazy to tell you but yesterday I did slip over in front of a lot of people at Barcelona airport. There was water on the floor that I didn’t see so I went flying. It probably wouldn’t have been quite as embarrassing but I only raced the day before so my legs were so sore that I struggled to stand back up!
How do you relax? I actually love baking so I do that in my spare time. I think I really just like eating what I bake but I shouldn’t say that! Other than that I enjoy all the usual things like having fun with family and friends, shopping, eating nice cakes and drinking “proper” coffee, watching rubbish TV and eating minstrels!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Well I would have all my family. Then I would invite Jamie Oliver so he could sort out all the food and drink for everyone! I love Mary Berry so she would be on the guest list and hopefully bring me a few delicious cakes. I would invite Kirsty Allsopp and Phil Spencer as I always watch their TV programs. I’d have Roger Federer as he is a legend and not bad looking. Joel just told me he would want Dynamo the magician to keep us entertained and the wine flowing! Oh there are so many people… But I’d just have to have a load of friends to have a giggle and good dance.
Who would play you in a film about your life? Ohh tricky.. I am rubbish with actresses but I love Cameron Diaz as she is funny, pretty, quirky and seems like a pretty funky chick.
If you had a superpower what would it be? I think I need a little bit extra speed so super speed would be pretty cool but it would also be nice to be able to just fly places whenever you want to. This would save a whole heap of time and be pretty exciting too.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Watching neighbours.. Yes, I know I am 30 but I have watched it for as long as I can remember and I hate missing an episode. I actually love it when I have been away and I have a whole load to catch up on…!
Surprise us with a revelatory fact about yourself…. Although I have swum all my life I hate getting water in my ears. In fact I can’t even go underwater without a cap on or earplugs! Strange I know!