Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Interview with Lauren Goss!

For the uninformed, Lauren Goss is a top-notch professional triathlete from South Carolina. Over the past few years she's racked up a slew of victories and podium finishes across a variety of race series. Our teammate from the Palmetto State, Mark Watson, has zero Charleston charm... however, my hunch is that he used the Clemson connection to get an interview with this rising star. Thanks to you both!

What made you sign up for your first triathlon?

I was encouraged by some friends to sign up for the James Island Sprint in July 2009. I grew up swimming so was already solid there. I started running at Clemson just to stay in shape and randomly signed up for a marathon (Lauren crushed it in 3:11). I started working out with the Clemson University Club Triathlon Team and ultimately placed 5th at Collegiate Nationals. Afterwards I was recruited by USAT, and the rest is history!

What did you do/focus on to make 2015 so successful?

I switched to the half distance from the Olympic, because of the prize money and sponsors. Unfortunately, Olympic distance races are fading out… all the amateur athletes are doing Ironman races so that’s where the prize money is and where my sponsors wanted me to race. I also decided to change my bike position so I was more comfortable on the bike and could help save my legs for the run. I was in a very aggressive position from doing shorter distances. Lastly, I also decided to make a major change and switch coaches. I felt like I was chronically fatigued during the 2014 season and never felt like I was able to give it my all in races.

What are your race plans for 2016 and what is going to be your main focus?

I started the season in Panama at the end of January, then had St. Anthony's and Wildflower back-to-back in April. I’ll be looking to better my 2nd place finish from last year at Escape from Alcatraz in June, but my main focus for 2016 is the Beijing International in September (one of Lauren's six victories in 2015!). I’m not going to compete at 70.3 Worlds this year in Australia, but do plan on making a strong showing in 2017.

When and why did you decide to pursue triathlon professionally?

In 2010 when I graduated college. I made a monetary goal every year and was able to meet it. You can make a decent living off triathlon if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

Do you have a dream of qualifying for the Olympics and being able to represent the USA?

No, that ship has sailed. I would have to move to Europe to have several options at the ITU qualifying events. There is also not as much money in those races and my sponsors prefer that I race in the 70.3 circuit, as they tend to be higher publicized and have a bigger following. You have to win the races to really make money though.

Do you ever see yourself jumping up to the full Ironman distance?

I plan on racing one in 2017, so I can do it before I turn 30. I feel women tend to peak between 32 and 33 years old. I prefer the 70.3 distance because you can recover quicker and race different events closer together. My Ironman will be an end of the season race. One day I’d like to qualify for Kona and be able to podium.

What is your favorite course you’ve raced and why?

Escape from Alcatraz… I love the uniqueness of the terrain changes and the course itself. It’s the hardest swim I’ve ever done. The run through the sand and up the stairs is like no other course. St. Croix is my favorite 70.3 course… I remember riding on the bike and thinking to myself, am I really racing?

What is your least favorite course?

Florida 70.3. I find that course very boring, hot, humid, and windy. I’m also not a fan of the 3 loop run.

What is your bucket list of courses?

Vineman 70.3: the course runs through wine country and it is point to point.

Chattanooga: I like hilly courses a lot

Buenos Aires: I really like racing in South America

The 3 big races in China for pros that are a result of the WTC being sold

How do you balance being a professional triathlete and still being young and having a social life?

I make time to go out with friends, but I also make sure I think about staying hydrated, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep while I am out with friends. You can’t throw it all away for one night out. You have to find a balance that works for you and also gives you something to look forward to.

What is the best advice you can give to someone just getting into triathlons? Someone looking to improve their current status?

Buy that bike you want! I think it’s best to get what you want so you want to ride it and not wish you had bought something else (or have to find a new bike after a year). Other advice is to just have fun, be happy and enjoy the moment. You can’t put too much pressure on yourself if this is just your hobby or you can burn out quickly. Make sure you are recovering enough. If you don’t enjoy it then why do it?

What fellow pros do you admire the most?

Greg and Laura Bennett. I feel that they have done a great job with their finances, as they have always thought of triathlon as a business.

How do you find sponsors?

I enlist the help of my agent. For example, I tell him what brands I’d like to represent and let him reach out. The most important advice I can give is to figure out a way to get in face time with the companies you are pursuing. This way the companies can put a face and personality with the request they received and get a better idea of how you can help them.

Rapid Fire Questions

Favorite guilty food? BBQ chicken pizza

Pre-race amp-up song? This is going to sound weird but I listen to country music to calm me down and make sure I have done everything I am supposed to do.

What was your career goal before you found triathlon? Physician’s Assistant at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

What do you like to do outside of triathlon? Fix up my house I bought
Ariel would throw down a ridiculous swim split

If you could travel anywhere, but not to race where would you go? 
Thailand. I love Thai food and the beaches are beautiful.

If you could have any super power what would it be? I would want to be able to read peoples minds.

Favorite Disney Character (My 4 yr old daughter wanted me to ask you)? Little Mermaid

Favorite Quote? “Do or do not, there is no try” - Yoda

Race day superstitions? I don’t have any because of racing all around the world. You have to be prepared for anything and have a back up for everything. You can’t find the same foods around the world.

Favorite thing to do when you come home to Charleston? Visit with my family, running the Cooper River Bridge, hang out with my friends, and go to the beach.

Favorite Restaurant? Basil. Serves Thai food and is located in Charleston, SC

You can't follow Lauren on the course but you can here!

Instagram: laurengoss

Twitter: @lauren_goss

Facebook: Lauren Goss


No comments:

Post a Comment