#4 - Laura Siddall
Professional Triathlete. x2 top 10 at Ironman World Champs
Laura Siddall is a Professional Triathlete. She took a gap year in the British Army following her A-Levels and before attending the University of Nottingham to study Mechanical Engineering. Laura started working for Shell UK before taking a two year assignment in Sydney, Australia. Two years turned to seven and a couple of different jobs with consulting companies and large multinationals. It was whilst in Australia Laura started triathlon as a complete beginner at the age of 29. Laura progressed through the amateur ranks, winning four World Titles over the Sprint, Olympic (x2) and 70.3 distance. She then took a leap, not wanting to look back in 10 or 20 years time and think “what if”, and left the corporate world to become a full time professional triathlete. That was in 2014 at the age of 34, an age when most sports professionals would be retiring. Laura is now one of the most prolific iron distance women in the world. A four time Ironman Champion, and European Long Course Champion, and more recently in 2022, a two time top 10 finisher at the Ironman World Championships, now at the age of 42!
A truly global athlete, Laura is a role model, especially for women in sport and business, an UNLOCKED 2022 Athlete with the Women’s Sports Trust, and avid supporter of the Challenged Athlete Foundation. Laura volunteers, supports and works with local communities and projects around the world. Recently setting up a partnership between Soles4Souls and Challenge Family and Soles4Souls and Neuff-Red. As well as launching Sid’s Squad supporting, mentoring and providing a community for young female triathletes on their journeys in sport. Laura was also the reserve guide for British Paratriathlon Visually Impaired athletes, for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. An advocate for Sustainability, Laura sits on the British Triathlon Sustainability Commission, as well as being a Maikai athlete connecting corporates and athletes into action around the UN 17 SDG. Laura is also a member of the Professional Triathlete Organisation (PTO), Anti-Doping Committee, and most recently was voted, by her peers, onto the PTO Athlete Board.
If you hadn’t been an athlete, what would you have gone into after school or university? And why?
I started as a Mechanical Engineer working for Shell UK on an oil refinery. I looked after the maintenance and improvement of a few of the key plants on the refinery. I worked as a project manager and business improvement consultant in various different industries and sectors. It was after seven or eight years in the corporate world that I transitioned to being a Professional athlete.
What experience or memory do you cherish most from your days of being a professional athlete?
As a Professional Triathlete I know I’m very fortunate to follow my passion and get to swim, bike and run each day in amazing locations around the world. I get to meet incredible people, both other professionals, but also amateurs as well at the different races. I think it’s the people and the community that I cherish and will remember long after I’ve finished my sporting career.
What’s one thing you’re interested in or care about that most people don’t know?
I really care about making a better world for people and planet. That’s why I chose to work for Milk & Honey. They are a B Corp organisation which means they work in ways which benefit society, by doing environmental and social good. I’m always on the lookout for ways to live better in my personal life, whether that’s through educating myself with podcasts or through actions such as second-hand shopping, volunteering, or eating sustainably. It’s definitely a minefield and I don’t pretend to be an expert but I think if everyone does their best then we can make a big collective difference.
Do you have a favourite quote or saying? Why does it resonate with you?
Don’t Die Wondering
This was what a friend sent to me in a message as I travelled to the Ironman 70.3 world Championships in 2013. I went on to win the event and was the overall female amateur Champion and it was the turning point for me to then consider turning professional.
Any parting thoughts for those youngsters that might be about to embark on a pro career, those in the middle of one, or those that might be coming towards the end?
Make sure you try to savour your success and the journey. We too often move onto the next goal, without truly appreciating what we have achieved.