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Jackie Livingston

I started my triathlon journey probably back in 2014 at the age of 43, where I competed in a couple of super sprints, then jumped up to middle distance in 2015, where I done my first 70.3 Ironman UK (Exmoor). That was a baptismal of fire but thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

I always thought I would never be capable of completing a long distance triathlon, but one day I watching the highlights of Ironman UK (Bolton) and there was woman from Canada who was 62 competing. It was at that moment I thought “Anything is possible”. So in 2017 I competed in Ironman UK, again another amazing experience.

I am very passionate about triathlon and the all-inclusiveness of it, so much so I became a Technical Official in 2017. People think that being an Official in Triathlon is all about giving penalties and DQs, but it’s not, our prime objective is education, making sure people have an enjoyable time, it’s safe and everyone plays fair. I love watching first timers cross the line and the moment they realise they are now triathlete, their looks are priceless.

I completed 70.3 Ironman Staffordshire this year and now focussing on officiating and competing in shorter distances.

Q&A's

Describe your first bike?

My first road bike was a woman’s specific Giant about 13 years ago. She was great and believe it or not she is still around, she is doing the rounds with my friends who start up cycling or multisports.

I have stuck with the Giant brand and have a Giant Liv, envie advanced one….. She is my pride and joy.

How did you do in your first race?

My first race was a super sprint in my home town of Stirling. I surpringly came fourth and was pretty happy with myself.

What is your essential breakfast?

Has to be porridge, with dried fruit, nuts and peanut butter. Sets me up for the day. It's also my fav on the morning of any event.

Shaved or hairy legs?

As I'm a female it definitely has to be shaved.

Train alone or with a group?

I tend to train alone, I work shifts so during the day my friends work and that's when I usually do my training. When I Open Water swim I like to swim with one of my buddy's.

Another reason I train alone is because I mostly do non-drafting events and find my fitness improves, especially bike fitness, when I have to deal with a headwind on my own lol. I am a very self motivated person so find it easy to train alone and I am less distracted on my own.

Energy drink, tea or coffee?

Always coffee first thing in the morning to jump start me either to get to work or before an event. When training on the bike for more than one hour it's a sports nutrition energy drink.

Where does your bike live?

In my bedroom…. So I can keep an eye on her!

Snickers or energy bar?

Yikes…… both….

The craziest place you've slept since becoming a triathlete?

In a noisy pub hotel the night before my first ever 70.3 ironman. Was probably the only sober person in that place that night.

Pee on the bike, stop or hold until the race?

Tried to pee on my first ironman on the bike as I didn't really want to stop…. But couldn't… So I guess I pee in the delightful portable event toilets either in transition or on the run.

Three people to have dinner with?

To be honest it has to be with family, my sister, and brother in law and mum. When we all get together it is total mayhem, well it is between my sister, brother in law and myself.  My mum just sits and shakes her head, I swear she wishes she had quieter less crazy children lol.

If it wasn't family it would have to be Salvador Dali - his dinner parties were legendary for their opulence and bizarre fare.

Freddy Mercury - apparently he was a very light eater and would rather entertain guests at meals.

Gordon Ramsay - firstly he could cook… There is never a dull moment when he is around plus he's a triathlete.

What do you carry when you train?

Bike - water bottle x 2, mobile phone, gels, bars, tool kit.

Running - just my house keys if it's a short run, a longer run I will take my hydration vest with fluids and gels. I don't like carrying anything in my hands whilst running.

Worst chafing / sunburn?

Ironman UK I got awful chaffing under my arms during the run.

Worst sunburn was when I went a cycle with my brother in law days before my holidays. I had fab tan lines of the cycling variety and looked rather fetching in a bikini, which I received some strange looks foe.

Favourite place to ride?

Has to be around the areas where I live in Scotland. I live in Stirling which is the gateway to the highlands. When we get decent weather the scenery is to die for, yes there are a few “lumps” but the view at the top is always worth it.

What theme song would you play for a movie of your life and why?

Tubthumping – Chumbawumba
“I get knocked down, But I get up again, You’re never going to keep me down”. Persistence is important, take those setbacks into your stride. You’ve probably heard this inspirational song on countless sports shows. That’s how effective it is.

or

Thunderstruck by ACDC…. very cliché song for anyone who has done an ironman event in the UK. It was AC-DC’s comeback song hence reviving their music careers. I guess it's very poignant for me as during my 30s I had a very unfit, de-motivated period, finding triathlon reinvigorated me again and gave me a goal in life. It has taught me that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and have the right mental attitude.

Pre-race rituals?

Good nights sleep, good breakfast and repeat my mantra…. “don't be s**t”. Gosh can I actually say that word?

Funniest person you know?

My brother in law

What are you reading?

Currently reading Ross Edgley’s “the worlds fittest book”

What are you going to do this month?

Just competed in 70.3 Ironman Staffordshire. Over the next few weeks I am officiating at triathlon events, as I am a Technical Official, a role I just love…...and training of course.