Britain’s Lucy Gossage recently won Challenge Barcelona finishing in an amazing 8:58:43. In the process she became the sixth British female to finish an iron-distance race sub-nine hours. Gossage entered her first triathlon in 2005 and by the time she crossed the line she was hooked. Since then Gossage has had a string of successful results as an age grouper in both triathlon and duathlon. A drunken dare led her to racing Ironman. In 2010 she went sub-10 hours (9:53) at Ironman Frankfurt, which placed her third overall in the age group women. This won her a slot to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, where she finished fourth in her age group. Gossage, known for her speedy run, also won the Vitruvian middle distance race and became National Age Group Duathlon Champion in the same year. In 2011 the ever-smiling blonde made the decision to turn professional. She came third at Ironman 70.3 UK before going on to win Ironman 70.3 Galway and finishing third at Challenge Barcelona. Gossage balances triathlon with her job as an oncology doctor while doing a PhD on kidney cancer in the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. She went part-time a year ago to see how far she could go as an athlete. And by the looks of it this was a smart move.
1. Describe your first ever bike?
It was one of those metal tricycles you have as a toddler.
2. How did you do in your first race?
I came dead last in my only cross-country race when I was 1 2. My first triathlon was London triathlon 2005 and I finished half way down the age group field.
3. What’s your essential brekkie?
If I have time it nearly always includes scrambled eggs, bagel, peanut butter and some fruit.
4. Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?
5. Train alone or with a group? I train with friends (also known as domestiques in some cases) as often as possible.
It’s much more fun and I work harder if other people are around.
6. Energy drink, tea or coffee?
Coffee – several cups a day, particularly if I’m working.
7. Where does your bike live?
In a big cupboard in the college boathouse where I live.
8. Snickers or energy bar?
9. Biggest waste of your time?
Experiments which don’t work in the lab. It’s kind of okay if they don’t work because it’s a negative result. It’s not ok if they don’t work because you’ve screwed up. You can spend a week working at something and discover it’s not worked because you made a tiny mistake on day one. This is not good for someone as impatient as me.
10. Craziest place you have slept since becoming triathlete?
I had to share a room once with a male triathlete I didn’t know in Spain. Not that crazy, except when I arrived I realised I hadn’t brought any PJs, so ended up sleeping in my Lycra. He must have thought I was a complete freak.
11. Pee on the bike, stop or hold it until the run?
Usually on the bike. It can be useful if someone’s drafting behind you!
12. Three people to have dinner with?
My university girlfriends (with their babies left at home!)
13. What do you carry with you when you train?
The standard: keys, money and iPod.
14. Worst chafing/sunburn?
The first time I went to Hawaii as an age grouper I forgot to put sun cream on my arms so ended up with my number tattooed on them for several months after. The most embarrassing part was getting off the plane and going straight into work to do the afternoon skin cancer clinic. I don’t think I was a good advocate for healthy skin!
15. Favourite place to ride?
Morzine in France.
16. What theme music would play to a film of your life and why?
Sung at the top of your voice… “Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like”
Anything else would be far too deep!
17. Pre-race rituals and meal?
I’m pretty boring in the run up to a race. I opt for white foods only (other than chocolate) and a good DVD box set (Dexter is my most recent addiction). I always put a few good tunes on in my warm up. Infinity (Guru Josh) sends shive
18. Funniest Person You Know?
Joe Skipper. We randomly travelled to Germany 70.3 together and I’ve never met anyone who: (a) talks more than me, (b) forgets his passport twice in two months,(c) does an Ironman on one week’s notice after being bullied by me on twitter or (d) gets a Mohican haircut and then asks my mum for haircut advice.
Birdsong, The Secret Race and Fifty Shades of Grey. Something for everyone in there!
20. What you’ll be doing this month?
Being normal! No alarms, nights out, glasses of wine and maybe even a bit of dancing.