Meet Sarah Petre-Mears, our D3 Athlete of the Month. Sarah‚Äôs unique journey into triathlon is an inspiring one. When Sarah started working with D3 in 2005 she smoked 2 packs a day. She also lives on a tiny Carribean island with few roads and no pool or track. Despite these daily challenges, Sarah has finished several Half Ironmans and this year became an Ironman finisher! Her story is one of perseverance and the never say die attitude. I hope you enjoy Sarah‚Äôs interview!
D3: Can you tell us a little bit about your sports background? Which sports did you do as a kid and as you got older?
SMP: This is easy none! I hated sports at school was always picked last and was totally uncoordinated so avoided sports as much as possible. This includes never learning to swim or ride a bike.
What was your motivation to get started in triathlon?
SMP: I learnt to swim the day before my 31st birthday (10th May 2005) this was 3 strokes breast stroke before I gracefully sank! Through practicing everyday a friend suggested the tri -a -try maybe a good idea, fabulous said I so I just need to learn how to ride a bike!
When and where was your first race?
SMP: September 16th 2005 was a 10k run, I had never run that far and it felt FAR! My first tri was 2 weeks after 250m swim, 5k Bike and 3k run.
You have a very interesting job ‚Äì what is it?
SMP: I started my own business 13 years ago with my business partner; we provide corporate services to companies worldwide.
I know your better half is involved in your training as well ‚Äì tell us how that works and how you keep each other motivated?
SMP: Stanley, my husband, is a naturally gifted runner who loves marathon but is not so taken by triathlon, we rarely train together as someone has to be with the children, but he is the pillar of support always.
Who is your coach at D3?
SMP: Mike and I have worked together since November of 2005.
How has your coach and D3 helped you with your goals?
SMP: Mike has just been amazing, he has pushed me when I needed to be pushed but also stood firm when I wimped out. He has a lot more faith in me than I do in myself he has made me constantly surprise myself over the last few years. It‚Äôs been a real process, from me learning to ride a road bike, to wearing clip on shoes, wearing camel back for my first 70.3 and even learning to front crawl.
I know you live in a very remote place ‚Äì tell us where it is and what challenges you run into ‚Äì training facility, training partners, and weather!
SMP: I live in Nevis in the Caribbean, 36 square miles of paradise! With one island main road which is 18.5 miles long (20k of which is in terrible shape), no public pool so open water swimming is the only option, no track so running is road or road, one bike shop which is open November to April, year road average temperature of 79 degrees but temps rising up to 95 in the summer, 89% humidity is also a killer. Then we have days like today in hurricane season where we lose power, have torrential rain and flash floods, it all adds to the excitement. My training partners are few and far between, several triathletes come down for the winter months but during the summer I train alone, training for the ironman I had a couple of people including Stanley who would join me once a week for a small portion of the ride which was nice.
Have you done any races that you‚Äôd traveled for?
SMP: I have traveled for most of my races‚Ä¶‚Ä¶.. Anguilla half marathon Nov 2005, Grenada Sprint Tri, April 2006, New York Marathon Nov 2006, St Croix 70.3 May 2007, Disney Marathon January 2008, Grenada Sprint May 2008, Hawaii 70.3 May 2008, Disney Goofy Challenge Marathon and a half January, 2009, Florida 70.3 may 2009, Louisville IM August 2009.
Best Triathlon moment?
SMP: No question finishing the IM this was just a feeling that will never leave me; it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. This was also the day I became the first IM in the federation of St Kitts Nevis it was so great to achieve my goal and make history
What is your favorite race and why?
SMP: Distance is the IM for sure Race, I loved Hawaii 70.3 It was just an awesome race, I felt so strong on the bike, this was the first race I actually felt like I belonged at this was a great day for me.
What are your long-term goals in triathlon?
SMP: To start to have more faith in myself, the IM showed me anything is possible, I now want to prove that to myself. Long term I would like to race and IM again and do it much better, completing my first has only made me want to do another better.
If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
SMP: Chrissie Wellington, she just is everything I admire in a women, especially her love for her sport. She is a true inspiration. Natasha Badmann is a very close second, balancing motherhood and a career is a challenge for anyone and she does it with the most amazing strength.
What‚Äôs in your race future?
SMP: The first ever Montserrat half marathon in December, Miami Marathon January, World‚Äôs largest 10k in Puerto Rico February, March Nevis Triathlon, May St Croix 70.3, November NYC Marathon. Then hopefully IM South Africa 2011
What‚Äôs your favorite workout?
SMP: The one I do well, when I finish a workout and I am completely spent I feel fabulous
What your least favorite workout?
SMP: The one I don‚Äôt finish or worse still the one I never started.
Tell us something interesting about you!
SMP: That a tough one, Mum of 2 Alex 13 and Siobhan 11, Vegetarian, Studying for my BA through the University of Phoenix.