An exclusive interview with triathlete Lucy Gossage
Lucy Gossage is an exceptional triathlete. In her interview with Simplon the athlete tells us how important her work as a doctor is to her. Read more!
Lucy Gossage – British doctor and one-of-a-kind triathlete
… in an interview with Simplon
13 Ironman wins, two Ironman wins within less than two weeks, two-time European duathlon champion, challenge winner … Lucy Gossage is an exceptionally talented athlete when it comes to running, swimming and cycling. Which makes it even more astounding that her athletic career started over a few drinks …
Lucy talks to Simplon about her “adventure year” of 2019 and how important – alongside the sport – her work as a doctor is to her. She also lets us in on why she thinks cycling on a Simplon bike is the most fun.
You're a doctor and a triathlete. How do you manage to do the very responsible job of a doctor, yet still have enough time for triathlon and to be so successful?
I think I’m lucky to have a job I love. Working as an oncologist is extremely rewarding, and while it can be sad, it’s also immensely life-affirming. For me, working makes triathlon feel like a hobby. I race and train because I love it.
I was a fulltime athlete for two and a half years and while that was a wonderful period of my life, I did find the day-to-day existence quite dull at times. Spending my whole life trying to get faster wasn’t enough for me. It felt quite selfish. For me, work puts sport into perspective again.
2019: A year filled with adventure
What is your current life situation like? You are doing an "adventure year" – what exactly are your plans?
2019 is the year I’m weaning myself away from professional triathlon and towards new adventures. I’ve started a new job as an oncology consultant, which I love.
Triathlon-wise I’m trying lots of things I’ve always wanted to do but could never do when I was racing the Ironman circuit. So, I had two amazing cycle touring adventures in the spring – I went to Thailand and Peru. I’ve tried a cross-country ski-marathon and I’ve done an Otillo swim-run event in the Scily isles.
Tell us more about your bike tour through Thailand and Peru!
I had three months off work before starting my new job this spring. So I took myself off to Thailand for two weeks cycle touring on my Simplon Nexio road bike – to ride along the Mae Hong Son loop, one of the most spectacular asphalt loops in the world, among other things.
On my second trip, I went to Peru. After a stop at the Peru Ironman 70.3, I went on to explore the Crodillera Blanca mountains. Six summits between 4,200 and 4,700 metres above sea level, and half of the ride spent on gravel roads! I mastered this one-of-a-kind challenge on my Simplon Inissio Crosser .
Wat did you enjoy most while you were there?
- Simplicity: All you have to think about is getting from A to B. Everything else is secondary. Wake up. Eat. Ride. Eat. Sleep. That’s what your day looks like.
- The physical challenge on long days and during exhausting rides that lead you off the standard routes to places which most people only see on TV …
- The silence that allows you to calm your mind and recharge your batteries …
- You meet people from different parts of the world that don’t speak the same language.
- Trying new foods having no idea what you’ve just ordered …
- The satisfaction at the end of a tour! Especially, if you’ve given it your all physically, having gone past your comfort zone mentally and successfully mastered even the most challenging phases.
Your career as a triathlete
How old were you when you took part in your first triathlon?
At 26. I entered the London triathlon when I was a junior doctor as motivation to get fit. Doctors work hard and play hard, and I wanted a challenge to get me out of the pub and into the fresh air!
What brought you to the triathlon sport? What were your motives?
I entered my first Ironman as a dare after a few drinks. Someone had told me about this crazy event and when I heard what it was I thought it was impossible. But then I decided I liked the idea of the impossible, so I signed up. I printed off a free training plan from the internet, taught myself to swim. I did most of my long runs with a hangover, got myself to the start – and just loved it!
What were your biggest successes so far?
I think I’ve now won 13 Iron distance races, and seven of these since going back to work as a doctor, so working didn’t slow me down too much. The achievements I am most proud of are, firstly, finishing my first Ironman, which, to me, was achieving the impossible. And secondly, finishing 9th at the world championships eight weeks after breaking my collarbone.
What athletic goal are you currently working towards?
Norseman is now just three weeks away so I’m gearing up for one of the toughest and most iconic Iron distance races in the world!
You chose a Simplon road bike for your triathlons. Which one did you pick and why?
I am so spoilt with my choice of bikes. I love racing on my MRT2 . It’s super comfortable and super fast. In Thailand I loaded up my Nexio with bike-packing bags. In Peru, much of the cycling was off-road, so I used my Inissio Crosser, which was just a dream to ride. This summer I’ve been doing lots of riding in the hills near where I live on my Pride, which is by far the nicest road bike I’ve ever ridden!
Simplon bikes are perfect for smaller riders. The quality is exceptional and all of them have withstood the UK weather and road surfaces superbly. I just love them.
Lucy Gossage in a quick character check
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Passionate. Driven. Vivacious. Bonkers. Talkative.
What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths: I’m not scared to fail, I rarely quit and I persevere.
Weaknesses: I can be impatient and always say what I think. This can be a strength sometimes but can get me in trouble as well …
What’s your motto in life?
It’s better to try and fail than to ask ‘what if?’ .
You’d like to find out more about the Simplon riders? We regularly share fascinating stories about fascinating people in our magazine. Check it out and see for yourself!