Roxy Jakob is a mum and an athlete living in Grafton in NSW. Having grown up with no interest in sport, she decided to take the plunge at a later age and get into the multidiscipline sport of triathlon.
She now has two young kids and is training for her first Half Ironman distance Aquabike – all in addition to studying, working and making time for family and friends. She has also recently set up the Grafton Triathlon Club to encourage others to participate in the sport!
Here is how she does it and why, ultimately, community is what she values most…
My name is Roxy and I am the President of the newly formed Grafton Triathlon Club.
I am a mother to two toddlers, studying a Master of Social Work and about to start working full-time in a case manager position.
I am not the fastest in the field, but I am passionate about the sport of triathlon. I am currently training for the events in the North Coast Interclub Series, alongside organising the inaugural Grafton Triathlon, which will take place in November.
How did you get into triathlon, Roxy?
I competed in my first triathlon in 2016. Before that, I hadn’t been heavily involved in sport at all. I barely did any sport whilst growing up and didn’t enjoy it whilst at school. So as an adult, I found myself teaching myself to swim and learning everything from scratch!
Now exercise has become my lifestyle and I couldn’t imagine being without it.
Tell us what inspired you to start racing.
In 2016 my gym buddy heard about triathlon. We were just training in the gym at the time, and I didn’t even know what the word ‘triathlon’ meant!
My friend explained what a triathlon involved, and I was up for it, so I entered an ‘Enforcer,’ which was the distance between the Tempta and Sprint Distances, held in Yamba NSW at the time. I ended up racing the rest of the season!
After taking part in a few more races, I then changed jobs and had to take a break due to the long hours I was working. So, when I had my children, it was my goal to get fit again and do another triathlon.
I did one 5 months after having my first child and after only 3 months of having my second! Since then, I have continued on with the journey and haven’t looked back.
What inspired you play such a large part in your local triathlon community?
I discovered the Clarence Valley Triathlon Club in Yamba, which holds a fantastic women’s event each year. I was inspired to create a training group here in Grafton and start our own club. I wanted to share the sport and my love of it with others in our local community.
How do you manage being a mum and a triathlete?
I am very lucky as I have a good support system. My mum, for example, will look after the kids so I can train, and my partner is really supportive and encourages me to go for it!
I am also studying, and the kids are in day care a couple of days per week. I make sure I utilise these days well for both studying and training. I get up early to train on the days they are at home so that I can spend the rest of the day with family.
It can be somewhat chaotic at times, but I’ve been putting in the hours and making it happen, especially as I have now stepped up to the Half Ironman Aquabike distance!
What do you love most about the sport?
The community and the club which we started are what I love most about the sport. The club has the aim of creating an attitude of encouraging newbies to go out there and get into it.
It is great seeing people simply start and get hooked, just as I did!
Do you have any advice for other mums or dads out there training or competing for endurance sports?
I suppose just prioritise time for yourself, as this is so important.
You can also find ways to include the kids in your training. For example, I even have a double pram, so I can go running with them. My partner and I also just bought mountain bikes so that we can put the kids in the back and take them training too. Time on the bike is time on the bike after all!
I also lean on family and make sure I have people I can count on around me. By scheduling time for them to look after the kids, it makes me accountable to use the time to train wisely. I find that using a quality over quantity approach is very effective too, as there are only so many hours in the day – you simply have to make the most of them.
Why do you choose Bindi?
I was intrigued by the brand as I had seen so many other athletes using their products and enjoying them, especially at races. So, I decided to give them a go. I love their Sports Hydration on longer rides and find Bindi products particularly helpful for training in the heat.