Sophia Talley is a multi-sport athlete who plays Lacrosse, Softball, and is a competitive swimmer. She has been racing since she was just 6 years old. At age 8 she competed in her first Triathlon. At age 11 she completed her first half marathon. Now at just 15, Sophia is currently training for her first Iron Man race. She also has a 4.3 GPA.
Name: Sophia Talley
Age: 15 Sport: Triathlete Additional
Erin: How old were you when you completed your first race and how far was it?
Sophia: The first race I ran was a 5k and I was 6 years old. My family ran a bunch of 5ks together for fun and to stay active. I have been in love with running and racing pretty much ever since.
Erin: How did you feel after completing your first half marathon?
Sophia: Physically I felt exhausted and worn down. However, mentally I felt complete for the first time. I always had an extreme craving for adventure and I found out that endurance racing satisfied this. I also felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment once I crossed the finish line. This was from driving myself to the edge and not breaking, and the fact that I could handle what the world threw at me.
Erin: What inspired you to compete in an Iron man?
Sophia: My parents were my main inspiration. This is because I essentially grew up with Iron man in my blood; my mom has completed two iron man races and my dad has competed in 5. Some of my fondest memories were going down to Panama City, Florida to watch my parent’s race after their months of hard work and dedication. Also, what I think drove me to wanting to complete an Iron man was the feeling of fulfillment that you get once you challenge yourself and find out what you are truly made of and iron man is the next challenge I decided to face.
Erin: Can you tell me a little bit about the races you have completed in the past?
Sophia: I’ve been racing ever since I can remember. Some of the bigger races I’ve done have been my first triathlon at the age of 8, I did this with my older brother which we turned it into a friendly competition. I’ve also done a bunch of 10ks and 10 milers. My first half-marathon was at the age of 11, when I decided that I wanted to run a half-marathon I think the hardest part was finding a race that didn’t have an age limit so that I could run in it. So far, I have run four half-marathons.
Erin: When is your Iron man competition?
Sophia: September 10, 2016
Erin: Do you train with a group or alone?
Sophia: I mostly train by myself, but my parents tend to join me on my bike rides which are helpful to keep me motivated.
Erin: Can you describe your training?
Sophia: Right now I am following an online training program. But most of the time I modify it depending on how I’m feeling and the amount of time I have after school and sports.
Erin: What it is your favorite sport?
Sophia: Swimming has been one of my favorite sports so far. It’s nice because you race individually but at the same time you are a part of such a close and supportive team who motivates you and inspires you to keep getting better and to keep pushing yourself.
Erin: Who has been your biggest influence?
Sohpia: My dad, he has inspired me ever since I was super young. He has competed in five Ironman races so far. I think going and watching him compete in countless endurance races was what sparked my endless craving for adventure and endurance racing.
Erin: What has been your biggest challenge?
Sophia: My age has been my biggest challenge, I feel. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that throughout my racing career I haven’t been able to compete in the races that I’ve wanted to because I wasn’t old enough. I also have to constantly monitor myself and my capabilities because I worry about physical damage when I get older. Also, with injuries I have to be careful because one really bad injury could ruin my racing career before it really has started.
Erin: Do you think your physical training has had an effect on your academics, and if so how?
Sophia: Yes, it definitely has impacted my academics; I think it has helped them quite a bit. My training helps to get me on a schedule. First school then sports, training and homework. This helps me stay focused and motivated. If I didn’t have the set out schedule, I don’t think I would be able to keep up with my academics as easily