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    Gill Sanders

    Pro-Triathlete

    Where are you from?
    I’m from a city called Pietermaritzburg in South Africa but have been living in London since 2008.

    Fun Facts

    • Favourite Food

      - A juicy medium rare steak, Calamari, Sushi

    • Favourite Film

      - Snatch

    • Favourite Music

      - Anything upbeat that makes me want to jump up and dance around

    • Favourite Book

      - Footprints On The Water by Larry Tracey

    • Dream Holiday Destination

      - Maldives, been once but want to go again before it disappears

    • Who are the most important people in your life?

      - My husband and my family

    • Favourite TV show

      - Suits

    • When you aren’t training, what are you doing?

      - Sleeping lots or eating lots.

    • Any other hobbies?

      - I love anything to do with food, Wine in the off season, Travelling & just being in good company having a laugh.

    Background

    I went to the World Triathlon Champs as a junior elite triathlete at 18. I then stopped to pursue my law studies. My degree was 5 years plus a 2 year training contract. I moved to London in 2008 to work as a lawyer and do some travelling. My love affair with triathlon was rekindled again in 2009 and I started training again wanting to qualify for the London Olympics. I was working as a full time lawyer up until 2011. I quit my job and chased my dream of competing at the Olympics.

    Interview

    Have you always been into fitness?

    Yes. I played every sport I could possibly get my hands on as a child. My parents were both athletes and actually met through athletics so I was lucky to grow up in a very active and fit home.

    Why Triathlon?

    It’s an extremely challenging yet rewarding sport. It’s very difficult trying to master one discipline at the expense of others for example. It’s a very special feeling when you know you are performing well at all three disciplines and then execute this in a race. It’s a tough tough sport and I think thus the appeal of the challenge for so many including myself. I’m always trying to better myself at swim, bike and run as well as put it all together in a race.

    Best Triathlon achievement so far?

    19th London Olympic Games
    Silver medal in the Commonwealth Games team relay

    What are you ambitions for 2015 and beyond?

    2015 is all about collecting Olympic qualification points for Rio 2016. It’s all about getting stronger but not tiring myself out for next year. The focus is all about Rio 2016.

    Who are your sporting / non sporting role models?

    Jo Pavey: The way she runs at her age and being a mum of 2 is incredible.

    Kara Goucher & Lauren Fleshman: I admire them for taking a stand against doping and not being

    afraid to speak about it at the expense of their own reputations. Cheats should be eradicated & it’s refreshing when athletes actually speak out against dopers.

    Non-sporting – Nelson Mandela: Need I say more. He is the reason South Africa is a free country today.

    Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?

    I quite like shoes & own far too many, sadly I don’t get to wear my stilettos from my ‘legally blonde’ days too much now….they’ve been supplemented with a load of trainers.

    Can you describe the feeling when you won a race or made a great improvement/achievement in your sport?

    I recently achieved my best result in a World Series race in Yokohama finishing 5th. I have made some big improvements over the winter but in my first few races had some bad luck crashing in Abu Dhabi & puncturing in Cape Town so to get a result I knew I was capable of after so much frustration was such a relief, I burst into tears after the race.

    What are you top three sport nutrition tips?

    1. Your body is the tool of your trade, fuel it, don’t starve it.
    2. Hydration – lots of H20
    3. Everything in moderation – no fad diets, a balanced healthy diet

    What are your top three training tips?

    1. Consistency is key
    2. Technique is very important (less is sometimes more)
    3. Make sure you’re having fun & enjoying it

    Why do you use Beet It and how has it helped you?

    My sister is a dietician and mentioned the benefits of nitrates found in beetroot to athletes. Beet It is a natural way of getting in those nitrates. Nitric oxide increases the bodies oxygen carrying capacity & beetroot is a natural way of increasing those nitric oxide levels. It’s a natural way of getting my body to perform to its utmost potential.

    How important to you is it that it is all natural?

    Extremely important. As a professional athlete I can’t take any risks with supplements due to some of them being contaminated. It’s important to know exactly what you’re putting into your body

    How do you incorporate Beet it into your training and race preparation?

    When I feel I need to, I will take Beet It shots in the days leading up to an event. Sometimes I like having Beet It juice in a smoothie combined with other fruits which makes a delicious, nutrient rich snack too.