We have proudly welcomed Lara Newell, the Team GBR Triathlete, as World Bicycle Relief’s UK Ambassador this year.
Aside from competing in 4 Ironman events this calendar year, Lara has committed to coaching and training with our cyclists in the upcoming Prudential Ride London.
We asked Lara a series of questions to learn more about her and her understanding of the Power of Bicycles!
Lara, why did you choose to become an ambassador for World Bicycle Relief?
I heard about WBR through a friend of mine in Zimbabwe. Knowing how passionate I am about cycling combined with my love for Zimbabwe, my home country, she thought it would be a charity I would be happy to support – she was absolutely right! So many people in first world countries take education for granted. Knowing that there are children out there desperate to get an education but can’t for various reasons breaks my heart. If I can help bring education and a glimmer of hope for their future to at least one child I would be extremely happy. I feel that supporting WBR I will be able to do that.
Have you always been into sport?
Growing up in Zimbabwe, I was fortunate enough to always have sport at my fingertips. I definitely took advantage of this – playing hockey, tennis, squash, and swimming.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
When I moved to the UK, access to all these sports became a little bit harder – most required a fair bit of traveling time to and from. With a full-time job, it was a big commitment. So instead I joined my local gym and through fellow members was introduced to the very social sport of triathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
That’s a tough one as I have been fortunate enough to race in some absolutely stunning scenery all across the world. I think if it had to come down to one it would have to be Ironman 70.3 in Weymouth. Having had most of my 2017 race season written off due to a fall off of my bike I entered this race at the end of the season as a bit of ‘fun’. I guess sometimes its better to go into a race with this mindset and put less pressure on yourself. I managed to come 3rd in my age group and secure a place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2018.
And your proudest achievement?
What brings me the proudest moments is when I manage to inspire those around me to take up the sport, or at least inspire them to take more interest in their own health and fitness.
Have you ever had any racing disasters? What’s your toughest race yet?
Funnily enough, Ironman 70.3 Weymouth was set to be a disaster. The morning of bike racking day I was checking my bike over. While checking a bolt in my handlebars I managed to snap the bolt, which left me with an unusable bike – the bolt was actually still stuck inside the bars. With a ‘never give up’ attitude I managed to eventually find a replacement part and with just minutes to spare racked my bike ready to go.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I think setbacks are only there to build us as better stronger people. I have had a few over the years and if you use these with a positive attitude they will never overcome you.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
I used to think that the more you train the fitter you will be. However, this only leads to fatigue and injury. I have now learned the importance of having a structure to your training. Without this, it leads to overtraining and injury.
What are your goals for 2018?
Firs to keep inspiring those around me. Second, I will be competing in both the European and World 70.3 Championships this year. If I could place in the top 10 I would be very pleased.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My Mum was truly inspirational. She never let the challenges in life stop her from doing what it was she enjoyed and always with a massive smile on her face.
Follow Lara’s progress at http://laranewelltriathlete.blogspot.co.uk