“One day you will not be able to do this – today is not that day.”
Sophie Radcliffe is an adventurer with joie de vivre and buckets of inspiring insights on how to make the most of life by pushing boundaries, staying true to yourself and having fun. At the Triathlon show London on Friday 12th Feb 2016, she talked about how Ironman changed her life.
At 27, Sophie quit her desk job to follow her dreams. A few years on, she’s an adventure athlete, blogger, motivational speaker and will this year take 50 cyclists from London to Paris in 24 hours so they too can find out what they’re made of.
“I believe that it is through challenging ourselves that we stretch our limits, break down barriers and realise we can achieve far more than we think.”
“My initial passion for the outdoors came from open water swimming when I was a child,” Sophie says. “My Mum would take me down to the local lake in London and I started to fall in love with being outside and having adventures”.
Her first foray into triathlon came at the age of 23 after starting a full time job. “I needed to get fit,” she explains. After her first triathlon, she was inspired to start her own challenges, and her annual London to Paris 24 hours bike event was born.
“The first ride to Paris was a washout, after punctures early on came relentless torrential rain,” she says. Despite this Sophie managed to finish in just under 24 hours.
After that initial rainy ride to Paris, Sophie took on a string of other challenges including the Alpine Coast to Coast, where she covered an incredible 1,669km and over 45,000m of ascent on her bike – she was also discovering a burning desire to take on an Ironman.
“I found that these adventures were changing me as a person – you just don’t know how much you can grow and I love that.”
In 2013 she entered Ironman Wales. “It was incredibly tough, it hurt so much – everything was screaming at me to stop. But the thought of the magic red carpet spurred me on, and I just kept thinking about hearing those words: Sophie Radcliffe, you are an Ironman!”
“I’ve changed in the process of becoming an Ironman, that’s the beauty of experience – we learn and adapt. I know now more than ever that I love endurance sports and can’t wait for future challenges.”
“There are some many beautiful places our bodies can take us, cycling, swimming and running. Just get out and explore.”
Sophie loved Ironman so much she went back for another helping in 2014, and there are many more challenges to come.
“Ironman has changed my life. Anyone can achieve extraordinary things that they may not think possible – you just have to put one foot in front of the other.
Don’t compare yourself to others, just look to improve and do it for yourself. One day you won’t be able to do this, but today is not that day!”