Claire Jackson is one of RDFCC's newest members. Read more about her journey to the Forest and feel inspired!
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
I wish I could turn back time and have taken up sport from a much younger age. I used to ride horses and competed in 3 Day Eventing throughout my teenage years but I didn't take up running until my early 20's, and then swimming and cycling not until my mid 30s. All of which are much harder to master later in life!
What has been your guilty pleasure during lockdown?
To be able to have a lie in and still be able to train before work!! And not having to put make up on for work anymore.
Why, when and how did you get into cycling?
I took up triathlon in 2011 and did my first tri on a mountain bike and wearing a pair of shorts over a swimsuit. I somehow finished the race and also loved it but decided I would need some help if I was going to continue doing these races, so joined a triathlon club and in order to be able to go out on the group rides I needed to get a bike (got one 2nd hand from someone in the tri club) and learn how to ride it! This was the BRAT tri club in Birmingham.
Who is your greatest sporting idol and why?
Being a triathlete it has to be Chrissie Wellington who was just incredible in terms of coming latish to the sport then becoming an incredible athlete and wining the IM World Championships 4 times, and held the World Records in all distances for a number of years.
What is your worst habit that you can share?
Writing lists - I have lists of lists around the house. I like to plan a lot! It's the only way to fit things into a busy life and to achieve all your dreams and goals!
Here's £10,000 what are you going to do with it?
Put it towards my 'campervan' pot. I've got a dream to design my own custom built one off campervan (and not necessarily a VW!)
My greatest sporting achievement?
I have raced for GB in the Age Group Standard Distance triathlon champs and qualified a number of times for the Long Distance champs, but I would say my greatest sporting achievement is completing my first ironman full distance race in Wales, known as being one of the toughest IM races on the circuit. And in a quicker time than expected, just missing qualifying in my age group for the World Champs by one place.
What achievement outside of sport are you most proud of?
I would say that my great achievement outside of sport is in fact where I am currently right now, in terms of where I am living. I moved to the FOD almost 2 years ago having recently got divorced, knowing no one, and leaving behind all my friends that I had made over the past 8 years, and also my little semi detached house on the outskirts of Birmingham. I got a job in Cardiff, rented a house in Monmouth, fell in love with Wales and the areas close to the border, then found a house in the FOD and put in an offer. 1.5 years on I live in this lovely detached house that I could only have dreamed of owning a few years back. I've made a fair few friends (mainly through triathlon and cycling), and I'm happy, happier than I have been in a long time in terms of where I am living. And this is the fittest I have ever been! If I was still living in Birmingham and had to go through Covid 19 all over again being in self isolation on my own for 12 weeks I would have gone mad but because of where I live, how relatively easy it is to train with the great outdoors on your doorstep, and the new friends I have made, its been so much easier.
What food could I not live without?
No question - chocolate!!
Book for film?
Film - it's got to be a classic like Shaw Shank Redemption or Forest Gump.
If I had a one way plane ticket where would it take me?
Either New Zealand or Canada. I worked in NZ for a bit and went skiing in Canada. Both very similar in terms of landscape and terrain and definitely places I would like to explore more.
What's your favourite coffee/cake stop when on your bike?
As I still see myself as a newbie to the cycling routes around the Forest and haven't been on many group rides yet, or known the options to stop for a coffee/cake, the only one I am familiar with in the area is the Filling Station, Tintern which is just great. Can't wait for it to reopen. And looking forward to exploring more coffee shops when we are out in groups again.