Meet Sophie Bubb, Mum On The Run
This is my first time writing as an arena sponsored athlete and I’m hugely excited to be part of the team and to be associated with such an iconic brand. I think it’s fair to say that on paper, I’m a little different to most of the other supported athletes within the team but undoubtedly, we all share one huge passion for the water.
My love affair with the water started as a child, growing up sailing and surfing on the south coast of the UK and generally spending as much time in and on the water as possible. This passion saw me travel the world and eventually lead me to meet my husband Nick, a former professional round the world sailor, who’d also raced a few Ironman triathlons.
By early 2015, we were celebrating the arrival of our second son and I was looking for a challenge to ensure that babies didn’t consume my entire being. As we discussed different ideas, I settled on doing my first proper triathlon. Nick loved the idea and quickly persuaded me that I had the ability to do much more than complete a local event.
By September 2015, with my youngest son still only 6 months old, I was the European Long Distance Triathlon Amateur Champion, having used a borrowed wetsuit and ridden my £500 eBay ‘win’ bike. It certainly didn’t happen by accident and the effort & support that I received from my family was staggering, but I was still shocked by the result.
Spurred on by my initial success and with growing support, during the last two years I have gone on to compete with the very best amateur long distance triathletes, all over the world.
Last summer, as I was preparing for the Ironman World Championships, the opportunity to work with arena came up and I jumped at the chance. Racing in their aero tri-suit and using the cobra goggles (plus plenty more products in training), I finished 10th in my category, just 20 minutes behind the winner and ahead of several pros.
With my experience and confidence growing after each event, I went over to race Ironman Western Australia in December, with the goal of securing an early qualification for the 2018 World Champs, where I hope to challenge for the age-group win.
Happily I managed to win my age-group in Australia, coming 9th overall, 2nd amateur and securing my World Champs spot, but the event was not without drama.
With the ongoing support of arena, I was looking forward to racing in their Shark Attack Mitigation Suit (SAMS). Not only did the suit fit, look and perform well, it was also designed to make me less appealing to any passing hungry sharks!
Sadly, or maybe not… I never got to test the suit in anger, as on the morning of the race, with several swimmers already in the water, sharks were spotted and the organisers made the call to cancel the swim part of the race. It was a strange, confusing feeling and a little disappointing not to be able to use the kit that so much effort had gone into. It also meant that I could not legitimately achieve one of my goals for the event, which was going under 10 hours. 8hr 48 was nice but 9hr 50 on a full length course would have been better!
2018 is already lining up to be a busy year juggling family commitments, work and my racing goals but with the support of my family and amazing sponsors like arena, then I firmly intend to make it my best ever. I look forward to staying in touch.