Karina Kaufmann has said she wants to inspire “mums and dads to find a sport they love” after she represented GB at the World Sprint Triathlon Championships and became one of the fastest female triathletes in the world.
Competing in the 35-39 age group category in Amsterdam, the 36-year-old finished the race in 17th place. She said: “I’m very pleased with being the 17th fastest female triathlete in the world in my age group. Obviously, I would have loved to have finished higher, but unfortunately my swim wasn’t good enough to keep up with the lead group, which meant I missed the main cycling pack.
“I had to ride the 20km route on my own, with no-one to draft behind. It was an incredibly technical course, with some really tough twists and turns, cobblestones and even little ramps to get up onto the bridges. But that played to my strengths. I did a lot of training with my cycling club, CC London before the event, and of course, couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and family and my sponsor Skybound Capital
Recalling an ‘amazing experience’ which saw her complete a 20km cycle, 5km run and 750m swim, she said: “Although triathlon is an individual sport, there was such a good feeling to be part of something bigger. The weather before the race was pretty crazy, with massive rainstorms, and there was even a prediction of thunderstorms for the race itself. But while that could have been scary, I had a great group of GB athletes to share it with, which helped ground me.
“What was even more surprising was how all the competitors from different countries were so friendly and helpful. I felt a bit better when the Americans and Mexicans told me they had never swum in water so cold!”
Looking ahead to future tournaments, the mother-of-four added: “This is just the start! I’m already planning my next attempt, which will probably be duathlon – run/cycle/run – which should be good for me as it builds on my two best disciplines. But I really want to improve my swimming so I can place even higher in triathlon next time.
“But for now, I’m back to my family and my personal training business, Freerange Fitness I’m looking forward to using my experiences to help other mums (and dads!) get fit and build a healthy lifestyle for themselves and for their family. Whether it’s joining a boot camp class, running their first 5k, taking part in their first marathon, or maybe something completely different like an obstacle course race, I want to get people outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and having fun.
“I hope I have inspired other mums and dads to find a sport they love.”