2014 has been a year of change for Amanda, mum of 2 beautiful blond boys age 10 & 6 which started with a New Year’s Resolution.
I really wanted to be selfish as all of my time was working as the main bread winner or being a wife / mum & I felt there was no ‘me’ time so I decided to prioritise ME! I set myself 2 goals – to run a half marathon 13.1miles (I could run 3miles (5k) at this point) & to pass a Grade 3 piano exam. I chose The Belvoir Challenge – a 16.2 mile run cross country ‘fun run’ fund raiser for a local school (I had NEVER done cross country before) through muddy fields & up hills 1st March 2014. It took me 4 hours to complete in the sunshine (with tea, cake & family stops) & was hard going but I did love it. I raised over £250 for Alzheimers Society & felt so proud of my achievement as a 40 something mum! I also (just) passed the piano exam in March & it was back to work /wife /mum etc.
What made you start up a new business?
I had been self-employed before– in a family run newsagent & as an aerobics & fitness instructor for 10 years (about 15 *ahem! years ago) so I knew the hard work it would involve & the rewards it can bring.
My friend, Jason Randall, had been inspired by my running & had also been looking for a new career choice. He started to research triathlons & sports events as I booked my event & upped my training. He talked to me about his business idea with passion & enthusiasm & I was very interested.
We decided to make it a partnership in May this year! SBR Events was launched! SBR stands for swim bike run – the 3 disciplines in a triathlon – but we were also keen to explore organising marathons & cycling sportives. On top of our current jobs & family commitments we dreamed that one day (SOON) THIS business would be our main job. Things moved very quickly – Jason already had routes planned & venues in mind. The website was launched & we started travelling to venues to have business meetings & scope out routes. It was a huge learning curve for me – particularly regarding triathlons.
What was your first success?
Our first event was Louth Triathlon in September – a pool based sprint distance (400m swim, 22km bike, 6km run). From launching in May –it only gave us about 14 weeks to advertise & promote the event & book everything needed for a sports event. What a crazy few weeks! 10days before the event I wanted more credibility (Jason had already completed 2 sprint triathlons) so I booked a super sprint distance (200m open water swim, 10km bike & 2km run). I was nervous, swam in a cold lake at 7.30pm, cycled on the slowest bike ever & ran round overtaking a few to finish in the last 5. Still I was addicted & elated & felt I could say ‘I did it!’
After late nights, lost sleep & plenty of hard work – we were thrilled to get 153 bookings onto our inaugural event. Thanks to the help of 30+ super volunteer marshals, the day went very smoothly – even after planning til 1am & getting out of bed at 4am to start setting up the transition area for bikes!
We encouraged grass roots level competitors, people who laugh nervously when we refer to them as athletes. We had lots of people on their very first triathlon, a Team GB competitor (who won 1st place) & over 20 from the local triathlon club. The best thing about tri is that the slowest go 1st in the pool & the fastest go last. This creates waves of competitors & everyone has their own personal goal. The person coming in last on the race is not usually the slowest.
We then organised Rockingham 10; a 10 mile run at Rockingham Motor circuit in November. It was lots of fun & 2015 will see a choice of 10k or 10miles. With no traffic to worry about, our winner set an outstanding course record of 52:29 – an average of 5.14 minute miles!
We are working in a sector where everyone is very positive, motivational & encouraging. No matter what level you are, how fast or slow you are – as long as you give it your best & enjoy it then everyone is welcomed & cheered on.
What’s planned for 2015?
2015 will be a much bigger year for SBR Events. We are recognised & familiar faces on social media & are building partnerships with organisations such as UKRunChat & UKTriChat, local clothing & sports shoe retailers, caterers, sports therapists who can offer post-race massage. This helps our events to grow & gives them diversity. We have planned 6 events so far & others are in the pipeline for 2016 & 2017.
So far 2015 calendar looks like this:
15/2 Duathlon Rockingham (run bike run at Rockingham circuit, Corby)
19/4 The Longhorn 10k, half or full marathon (Thoresby Park Estate Nottingham) in Sherwood Forest
10/5 Skegness Triathlon (part of Lincolnshire Tri Series)
5/7 Tallington Lakes Triathlon (sprint & standard distances near Stamford)
6/9 Louth Triathlon (part of Lincolnshire Tri Series)
1/11 Rockingham 10 (10k & 10mile run at Rockingham circuit, Corby)
More details are on our website: www.sbrevents.co.uk
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Without a doubt it’s finding time for everything! Jason & I already work for ourselves, partly based at home, in separate businesses so we can flex our time but that means working into the night either catching up the day job or putting in hours for SBR events late at night when websites can be updated, emails written, maps & event management plans can be written & research on events completed. Jason & I have already made positive changes, dropping back on other work commitments to give more time to this business.
What happens behind the scenes?
Sometimes it can be tricky working with so many other organisations, local councils often have SAG (Safety Advisory Groups) & they help to ensure everyone’s safety has been considered. When you are in a business with open water swimming, cyclists & runners there are lots of considerations to be met! We have to provide insurance, medical cover & a comprehensive events management plan which is considered by local police, council, fire & ambulance service, local highways department to ensure the local highways & carparks can cope with the numbers of athletes & spectators we attract. We have to consider toilet & catering facilities required as well as bike racking, & water stations & provide enough marshals on the event to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. You can’t run a sports event without chip timing so we have to provide enough data to that company to ensure the registration process goes smoothly & all the athletes get the right chip! We organise everything from start to finish – we’re the first on site & the last to leave. It’s lucky that we have supportive families & friends whom we often rely on for support at the events or with childcare on the day.
What do you love about running your own business?
I am passionate about living a fit & healthy lifestyle. I’m no angel & I love Chinese food but when I’m cycling around Sherwood Forest at Thoresby Hall measuring & planning the routes for a marathon it feels like a truly amazing way to spend a work day! I also love the buzz that we get from organising an event & seeing the positive vibe & happy smiles from people who have enjoyed themselves. We are making happy memories!
New Year Resolution 2015?
I’ve decided to try for a PB (personal best) at another super sprint triathlon & half marathon plus challenge myself to train for a sprint distance -double the distance I have done before! Jason is booking onto a Duathlon in Feb & is seriously considering training for a half Ironman for 2016! We are very honest about our own journey in sport & feel we can relate to many of our customers. We know to create an experience everyone can enjoy. We want a safe, fun & friendly event where everyone feels inclusive.
For an additional 10% discount from our EARLY BIRD PRICES please use code MP1214 when booking onto our events before 07.01.15
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You can book onto our events on website www.sbrevents.co.uk