Emma Ruth Smith gave up a career as a lawyer in Christmas 2009 to live the dream and race the Xterra Global Tour (off-road triathlon), middle/long distance road triathlon races and the British Mountain Bike Race Series.
Last year, I learnt a huge amount, trained a huge amount and thankfully improved a huge amount! This is a short sum up of 2010. Follow me on future blogs where I will report on how my season is going and you can also find out more about me on my website here – www.emmaruthsmith.com or follow me on twitter @emmaruthsmith.
My first year as a pro.
I started off the year in New Zealand and escaped that awful English winter everyone else had. I based myself in Wanaka; a triathletes’ dream training ground. I was coached online by Julie Dibens and this gave me a solid training base for the season ahead.
In March, I competed in my first races as a ‘pro’ on Saipan and Guam; islands in the far-flung Marianas archipelago in the north-western Pacific. To read a full report on these races, go to the XCRACER website here – http://www.xcracer.com/Xterra-Saipan-Sports-Festival.html.
Picture of Bird Island, Saipan
Next, I returned to the UK to do a ‘proper’ race and compete in Round 2 of the British Mountain Bike Series. I love these races as this was where my story really began; it was where I met my first bike sponsor, Trek and the Torq team! I then escaped to Lanzarote for a training camp and to do the Volcano Triathlon.
By May, it was time I got a bit more serious. I moved to the Swiss Alpes and started being coached by the Team TBB Online (www.teamtbb.com). From my training base there, I competed in the European Xterra Tour and placed 3rd pro woman in the series!
My penulltimate stop was Hawaii, where I competed in the World Xterra Championships. I placed 9th pro woman and shocked myself at the staggering 28 minutes I shaved off my previous winning age group time in 2008! I then finished off the year with a training camp in Krabi, Thailand and raced the Laguna Phuket Triathlon series races. Superb destination triathlons and great after parties too!