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August Ambassador

Q&A with Kim Barefoot-Brace 

Kim is an ultra-endurance cyclist who on Sunday, became the national champion at the 12hr national cycling time trial championships – she also posted the 2nd fastest time of all time! Kimberley says, I dream of breaking records and winning titles, but ultimately I love riding my bike, I love the process of training, pushing myself and seeing improvement.”

How did you get involved in cycling?

I was quite a party animal well into my 30s…I used to DJ, go raving and spend most of my weekends intoxicated or hungover. I got into running to help ‘balance’ this out, and my husband and I got into marathons and the partying became less frequent. I took up spinning due to a running injury, then in 2015 I borrowed a colleague’s road bike to take part in a company event and I was hooked. I promptly got my first bike on the cycle to work scheme and it quickly escalated from there. In 2017 we took part in a crazy ultra duathlon starting in Edinburgh and finishing with an ascent and descent of Ben Nevis, I ended up coming 2nd Female (19hrs and 47 mins!), and my husband 9th overall. This inspired me to enter Ironman UK. Having only swum to cool down after sunbathing, I had 9 months to learn to swim. Triathlon coach Paul Ransome helped me with this and soon started coaching me across all 3 disciples. He opened my eyes to my potential on the bike, I invested in a TT bike and completely fell in love with it. 3 yrs on I’ve notched up 3 top 5 AG Ironman finishes GBR age group triathlon qualification (this hasn’t happened yet due to Covid!) and Bath CC records. Over the past year, I’ve particularly focused on TT, as naturally socially distanced races have continued to go ahead.

What is your biggest motivation to keep pushing the limits of your performance?

I dream of breaking records and winning titles, but ultimately I love riding my bike, I love the process of training, pushing myself and seeing improvement. Time Trialling is known as ‘the truth’, it’s just you and the bike…whilst I’m inspired by the many awesome women in the sport, I’m competitive only with myself and this is what I love about time trialling…I’m testing myself.

How are you feeling ahead of the 12hr national cycling time trial championships?

Leading up to the event I felt a melee of emotions. I was excited about what I could achieve as I knew if everything went to plan I could do something very special. But I also felt anxious about the danger of the sport and what could go wrong. I’ve experienced quite a bit of tragedy and bereavement this year…my Auntie unexpectedly passed away in February, a tenacious horsewoman she was a big inspiration in my life and told me to “get all the records” this year. Then in April my friend and a big source of inspiration in my life, Natasha Lewis was tragically killed by a car whilst running. She was a remarkable person and was training towards her goal of GBR marathon selection. It was her who encouraged me to enter my first 12hr TT last year, so it felt appropriate to raise money for her foundation which launches in September to help athletes in Bath fulfil their dreams. Recently a 26-year-old fellow Bath CC member was tragically killed by a car whilst on a club ride, and recently there have been a couple of serious accidents within the sport of time trialling. …so emotions were running high.

 How will you be fuelling for the 12hr national cycling time trial championships?

I aim to take on board 350-400 calories per hour, 30% of which is ‘solid’ the rest is gels, chews, and formula. I’ve learnt this works best for me. I’ve been vegan for 6 years and feel it’s important to invest in the quality of the products I consume…and this ultimately means as being as natural as possible. My ‘formula’ that I mix with water comprises of Beet It Sport and 33Fuel’s 100% natural energy powder. I use Veloforte chews which are again very natural, and Precision Hydration gels and hydration tabs. I sweat more than the average person so quality hydration salts are essential!

How do you balance training and competition life with your life outside of the sport?

It took some getting used to, and over the years I’ve got better at living ‘efficiently’ and reduce unnecessary stress. My husband is an incredible GBR Age Group duathlete (he also started as a runner and was inspired by me to pick up the bike!), so it helps that we understand what each other is going through and can support each other fully.

What advice would you give to a young aspiring athlete who is looking to take up cycling time trial seriously?

I discovered cycling at the ripe old age of 34 and did my first Ironman and TT aged 37. Now aged 40, I continue to be inspired by women and men much older than me who are achieving at a national level across all age groups, so I think you’re never too old to discover a passion and achieve! The most important thing is to love what you do…if you enjoy it, be brave and dream big…it’s amazing what you can achieve with focus, hard work and consistency. I also recommend seeking advice, knowledge and inspiration from as many people as possible!

 If you could a professional athlete in any sport, which sport and why?

I think it would be a triathlon…they look like they have a lot of fun, and I think the variety is better for your body and mind versus being so single sport focused.

 Describe your perfect weekend.

Would comprise of an open water swim at the cosmic Vobster Quay, a trail run on the Cotswold Way, a ride on my dream machine ‘Steve’, lots of lush plant-based food, gin, fizz and laughter with my family and friends.

How has Beet It Sport helped your performance?

I’ve been using Beet It Sport in the run-up to races for a few years now…as a finishing touch to make sure I get on that start line knowing I’ve done everything I can to perform at my best.

Anything additional you would like to say about Beet It Sport?

I love that the humble beetroot can give you such a boost and a competitive edge, it’s a brilliant product!