RaceMill Collegiate: Claire Andrews of Texas

Texas Triathlete heads to Nationals

Facebook.com/Claire Andrews


RM:  How did you find your sport of choice?

CA:  The story begins with Ironkids - just a 150 yd swim, a 4 mile bike and 1 mile run which may not seem like much but as a young 9 year old, completing that race makes you feel like Superman. It started out as a family endeavor, not the typical family bonding experience but that's how the Andrews roll. Eventually my sisters grew out of triathlons and my parents became support crew instead of competitors but by that point I was hooked. In high school and through freshman and sophomore year of college I focused only on track and cross country but I finally rediscovered my original passion for triathlons this year and it's a blast!

RM:  What drives your competitiveness?

CA:  My faith is the driving factor of my life. I am incredibly blessed by the ability to train and compete and I'm thankful everyday that I get the opportunity to pursue my dreams. God gave me a competitive spirit and it's been such a joy to get to use those gifts for His glory.

RM:  Athlete that inspires you? Why?

CA:  Sarah Andrews. Although she is my sister and that may seem clique, she is one of the most influential people in my life. Sarah was one of the greatest runners I have ever seen. She had incredible success in high school cross country and track and went on to compete at The University of Oregon until injuries ended her running career. But her heart and fierce dedication to the sport are what inspired me the most. Sarah had great dreams and would do whatever it took to achieve them and do it with grace. She exemplified what it took to become an elite athlete. She encouraged and pushed me to be the best that I could be in my own athletic endeavors. It is largely thanks to Sarah Andrews that I am where I am today.

RM:  How many years have you been competing?

CA:  I started swim team basically as soon as I was able to swim, probably around age 6. I started triathlons a year or two after that so I have been competing in triathlons for about 17 years!

RM: Perfect weekend workout trip... where to? what do you bring? Itemize it! Tell us why it's in your car and why we need it.

Where: Boulder, Colorado

Why: Boulder has to the triathlon mecca of the world. Boulder is my favorite place on this earth - the spirit of the people there is contagious, everyone is active and living life to the fullest. It's one of the most beautiful places I have ever been surrounded by great mountains and rushing rivers, it's hard to do anything other than be outside training and enjoying the beauty.

What to bring: since it's a trek from Austin to Boulder, snacks are vital - lots of fruit, pita chips, hummus, Gatorade and probably a few donuts. I'm definitely going to want the full experience while in Colorado so that means everything is coming - swim suit, cap and goggles for some glacier lake open water swimming, road bike, helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes, salted watermelon gu because that is the best flavor and I'm going to need a lot of GU to fuel me for all of those beautiful Colorado miles and my Asics running shoes to take me along some gnarly mountain miles. Perfect weekend.

RM:  Group Training or do you prefer solitude? why?

CA:  Group training. One of my favorite things about triathlons are all of the incredible people I have met along the way. Whether in races, on the triathlon team or out on the road while biking or running, triathlons bring people together. There is an instant bond among triathletes because we are all crazy enough to take on three sports at once! Training in a group not only makes all of the training more fun (especially on the days when a track workout doesn't sound so appealing) but the other athletes inspire and push me to be great.

RM:  Best result so far?

CA:  Since getting back into triathlons I haven't had a chance to race a lot but was really excited about the Collegiate regionals that were held in October. It was my first race back and I wasn't sure what was going to happen but the race blew my expectations out of the water (pun intended). I was happy with my performance that day but more so was stoked about being back at it, getting to enjoy my passion. I had a blast!

RM:  What are you working on right now?

CA:  Despite having two years of collegiate running, my run needs a lot of work. I am pretty injury prone and it seems like every time I try to amp up my mileage, something comes up. Im working on finding the sweet spot of not over-training and getting hurt, but pushing my limits and making gains.

RM:  What are you training for now?

CA:  The focus race right now is Collegiate Nationals in Clemson, South Carolina. The race is Olympic distance and will be held on April 25th. Its going to be a really exciting race with a ton of really talented athletes coming from all over the country. I'm really excited for this opportunity to get to compete against the top athletes in the nation!

RM:  Training secrets? Care to share?

CA:  Be happy! The common theme I have found in my success is that whenever I am training because I love it and I am genuinely enjoying the sport, I perform so much better. There are definitely days when its hard to get out the door for a run but at the end of the day I am so thankful I get to do it. When I'm having fun, its always a great day to race.

RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?

CA:  I have a dream, that one day there will be a new type of triathlon. An extreme triathlon. This race would take place in New Zealand. Complete with three sports - the first would be skydiving, you would land and run to a nearby rock wall where you would transition into climbing gear and ascend the wall as fast as possible. After reaching the top, you would mountain bike across a wild traverse to the finish line.

Training Tracks:

On long rides and runs I let my Spotify run wild and it can be anything from Rivers and Roads by Head and the Heart to Mercy, Hallelujah by the Static Jacks to Love Lost by Temper Trap to Say go, Do Try by Mighty Mountain. I also am a huge fan of Two Door Cinema Club, Cherub, Youth Lagoon, Matisyahu, NeedtoBreathe, Kygo, Mumford and Sons.. really just an eclectic mix of music.

1.9K 224