Meet Laura Sophiea. 24 (and counting) time Ironman Hawaii Finisher
Posted: Sep 11 2015
Coeur produces Women's Triathlon Clothing & today, we chat with our sponsored athletes
She races with a smile and will be going back to the Big Island for the 25th time! Meet Coeur Ambassador and friend Laura Sophiea!
Coeur: Well, here we are again! Ironman Hawaii number…25 right? Congratulations on a tremendous accomplishment! How does it feel to be going back to Kona again?
Laura: Yes, #25, still feels surreal to me! I am always very excited and happy to have the chance to be racing with the best in the world. Always an honor and privilege to be in a place I love!
Coeur: So you’ve got such a unique perspective on the race. How has it changed over the years?
Laura: It has changed through the years. The competition is tougher each year, there are more people on the pier than ever before and it is not quite as small race feeling as when I raced my first one in 1987. For a few years back in the 80-90’s they gave us a trucker hat with an emblem of the sun and the name “Sunshine Club” if you finished before dark. I lost mine in the numerous moves but I always thought that was so cool! But it is also the same in that everyone there is a champion for making to the start line! Having the chance to battle the elements and the course is very special no matter how many times you have the chance to race in Kona.
Coeur: We’ve found that while endurance sports are generally thought of as solitary endeavors, in reality, there’s usually a support system built up around the athlete. Sometimes, it’s training partners, sometimes it is family. Who do you have in your corner helping you prepare for Kona?
Laura: I am so excited as my youngest daughter Karianne and her BF are coming to see me race #25. My sisters are also trying to make it there and possibly my dad. Karianne came to her first one when she was 8 months old and she totally gets “it” and will be my biggest fan out there! I am super pumped to have family there this year.
Coeur: Coeur has a fairly large contingent of athletes going over to race and a few of them are first timers. What advice do you have for them?
Laura: I guess I would say, you are trained, fit, and ready to GO. Take each part of the day and do the best you are able to on that day. Believe in yourself, SMILE as often as possible because if you are smiling you have to be happy! There will be lots of tough parts to your day but a smile helps to keep you in a good place on race day!
Coeur: Of course Kona is the big show in long course triathlon and you must have big group of friends and acquaintances on the island. How do you balance catching up with old friends with staying off your feet and getting ready to race?
Laura: I make it a priority to see people early in the week and then try and take it easy during the rest of the week. I have done it enough that taking of myself race week is just what I do.
Coeur: Quite a few of us will be out cheering for you on the course in Kona, so we have to ask. Do you ever hear what people yell to you on the bike and the run or are you concentrating so much on your body that you don't notice? Also, if you do notice, what is the best thing for someone to say to you during the race?
Laura: I LOVE seeing people on the course, It helps me 100%. I smile as soon as I see them!! Even when feeling a bit badly.Their energy and enthusiasm helps me to keep moving forward.
Coeur: We think that the finish of Ironman Hawaii is one of the most magical places in all of sport. What will you be thinking about this year as you make the turn onto Alii?
Laura: Gosh, I am not sure. I think I would be so thankful to make it there and finish #25. I think there are not many that have done that yet. I love what I am able to do and very thankful that I have had a long run in this sport. Honest, I pinch myself often that I am able to do what I love and enjoy!