RaceMill Collegiate: Liz Noey of UCLA USA Triathlon Collegiate National Champion 2014 heads back to Clemson for a repeat By RaceMill // April 21, 2015 Twitter.com/liznoeyInstagram.com/liznoeyRM: How did you find your sport of choice?LN: I fell in love with running in high school, and continued racing in college. During that time I swam and biked for cross training when I was injured. When I got to graduate school I was just running on my own. I missed competing with a team, and I was looking for people to train with. My graduate advisor knew I was an athlete, and mentioned to me that the IronBruin was being held on campus, and that maybe I should join the UCLA triathlon team. When he said that I thought, "YES! I need to join the triathlon team!" I started practicing with the team in the spring of my first year, competed in my first triathlon that summer, which was an Olympic distance triathlon in Carpinteria, CA. My obsession with triathlon has gradually grown to nearly all-consuming.RM: What drives your competitiveness?LN: I love the challenge of pushing myself beyond my previous limits. That is my main goal in racing and training. The races I am most proud of are the ones I dug deeper than ever, and came out a better athlete on the other side. I think of Pre's quote, "A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts." I want to be the person with the most guts.RM: Athlete that inspires you? Why?LN: A lot of athletes inspire me. I gain a lot of inspiration from my current and past teammates. When races and workouts get hard, and I need to know why I am pushing myself to the edge, I remember that I need to be great because my team mates are counting on me. Beyond that I am especially inspired by many female professional runners. I am a fan of Shalane Flanagan, and was inspired by her 2nd place in the NYC Marathon in 2010. I am also a big fan of Allyson Felix and the USA 4x100m team who set a world record in the London Olympics in 2012. I was inspired by Kim Conley's 5 km race in the Olympic trials that secured her a spot on the USA Olympic team in 2012, and of course, Joan Benoit Samuelson, who was the winner of the first women's Olympic marathon in LA in 1984. All these women demonstrated their strength and courage, and through their performances, have inspired me.RM: How many years have you been competing?LN: I have been a triathlete for 5 years, a competitive runner for 15 years, and a competitive person my whole life.RM: Group Training or do you prefer solitude? why?LN: I prefer group training 85% and solitude 15% of the time. I love the camaraderie of training with a team - the joking, and laughing, and pushing each other. And sometimes I want to train on my own, either to let my body decide how fast to go without any external pressures, or to be efficient and do exactly what I need to do. RM: Best result so far?LN: USA Triathlon Collegiate National Champion 2014 followed 2 weeks later by 8th at Wildflower Long Course triathlon.RM: What are you training for now?LN: I am working to race the half ironman distance as a pro.