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Super Sam ‘absolutely thrilled’ with World Triathlon Duathlon Championships place

Sam Maher in duathlon outfit on the beach in ibiza
15 May 2023
Congratulations to Sam Maher, Service Manager for Community CAMHS at Sheffield Children’s, who finished 4th in the 2023 World Triathlon Duathlon Championships in Ibiza!
Sam competed in the 35-39 Female AG Sprint category and finished the combined run and bike course in a blistering one hour, four minutes and 35 seconds.
Thankfully, she slowed down long enough for us to ask her some questions! Starting with how she felt after crossing the line.
Sam said: “Absolutely thrilled! I’ve previously completed at the European Championships back in 2019 but this was a definite step up in terms of the competition. I felt a bit nervous on the start line, but knew I’d prepared well. I was secretly hoping to get a top ten finish, so to be fourth felt amazing.
Sam Maher running in duathlon outfit on the course in ibiza“I don’t think I could have done any better on the day, but now I know what it would take to get on the podium I want to go back to again next year and give it another crack.”
In the beautiful – but very warm – surroundings of Ibiza, the sprint duathlon challenges competitors to complete a 4800m run, followed by a 18.6km bike ride and then a second run of 2.8km.
Sam said: “The heat added an extra challenge to the race, it was mid 20 degrees even by 9am, but I prefer that to rain.
“There are a few reasons why I like the sprint distance. It’s all out from the gun – you have to give it everything from the beginning to the end – you don’t need to worry about nutrition or pacing – you just go! And it’s fast paced, which is fun.
“Sprint duathlons are often what they call ‘draft legal’ as well, which means you can cycle in groups which makes it quite technical riding and again adds to the fun of it, as you have to team up with other women on the bike and work together in a pack to do well. And it’s slightly less time-consuming training for sprint races than longer distances, although it’s still a lot of hard work!”
Sam originally got into triathlons – swim, bike and run – because she wanted to do an Ironman challenge and this is still an ambition for her. A runner by background, competing in duathlons means that she can avoid the least-preferred swimming leg!
And what about some advice for novices?
Sam said: “The most important thing is to have fun! The British Triathlon website has a range of races, and you don’t necessarily need to be part of a club or have all the gear. I did my first pool sprint triathlon in a swimming costume, but I do think if you can afford it, it’s worthwhile investing in a trisuit as it makes the whole racing process much easier. You don’t need a TT (also called triathlon or tri) bike for racing, you can use a road bike. I still use a road bike when racing!”
Congratulations Sam – we’re all so proud of you!

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