Race Report: Sophie Caldwell U23 European Triathlons Championships Bulgas, Bulgaria

Sophie is a member of the British Triathlon World Class Podium Potential Squad.

Aged 21, she lives in Keyworth, Nottingham and is a member of Charnwood Athletics Club and Nottingham Leander Swimming Club (of which Rebecca Adlington is also a member).

She is coached by British Triathlon coach, Adam Elliott, and does many of her sessions with the Loughborough based World Class Performance Squad.

We caught up with Sophie to find out how she fared at the U23 European Triathlons Championships in Bulgas, Bulgaria.

Preparations had been OK leading into the race, I was feeling like I was getting into good shape. However, I did pick up a little cold after racing Blenheim triathlon, which wasn’t ideal leading into the race! I felt really nervous going into it, I seemed to have put a lot of pressure on myself to put in a good performance!

I had mixed feelings about the race being changed to a sprint, on one hand the longer swim would give me a bit more time to try and split it up and break away however I’ve only raced one Olympic distance race and the fact it was really hot meant the sprint was probably a better option.

The race for me went really well. I was nervous for the swim – we live in Loughborough, it’s landlocked so no opportunity to swim in the sea, but Zoe helped out loads by giving me some tips for the beach start and coping with the waves!

The bike was ridiculous, so easy as no one wanted to work so a group of 43 came in to T2. I managed to get on the front into transition which turned out to be the reason I got on the podium as it gave me a head start on the run and made the other girls chase back to me.

In the end it all came down to a sprint finish, I kicked early and thought I’d had it but the Italian kicked again and I didn’t have another gear!

Going into the race I really wanted a medal, I’d been 4th a couple of times at championships and not managed to get on the podium. When I crossed the line and realised I’d done I was so happy and couldn’t believe I’d got a medal from a run race!

The week away was so good. A lot of laughs and ice cream with the rest of the Brits combined with two silver European medals (one in the relay too) made for great trip! Next for me is Hamburg WTS so it’s back home to get another block of training in before then.