Sportsmen and sportswomen answer many questions after each event they take part in, but how much do we know about their lives away from their disciplines? is on a mission to find out more, continuing with National Triathlon champion Hannah Pace.

In 2016, Pace was also the first Maltese female to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 world championships and even went on to bring home a bronze medal in her age group.

Besides 2017 has been her second year racing for Brive Limousin Triathlon Club in the French Triathlon Gran Prix (First Division). Meanwhile, it was also Pace’s club most successful year yet as a team having won the Coupe de France de Triathlon.

Describe your perfect day…
My perfect day would be waking up in a foreign country (probably somewhere in the North of Italy like Lago di Garda). Being on holiday I would be able to actually wake up naturally rather than by my annoying alarm at the crack of dawn. I’d probably start the day off with an easy jog along the lake with my boyfriend, followed by a massive breakfast at our agriturismo. We would then spend the day exploring the villages around the lake (and maybe even take a boat trip to the other side). We’d stop for an awesome lunch (seafood of course) and probably even have time for an afternoon nap before heading out to a bar for an early aperitivo, an evening stroll and an ice cream of course. We might even end up at a nightclub after.

What's the best decision you've ever made?
Ironically enough the best decision I ever made was saying yes to ‘one more drink’ last New Year’s Eve.

What's the biggest mistake you've ever made?
Although I’ve made many mistakes in my life, I am not someone to dwell on things. I learn and move on – no regrets.

How long do you spend getting ready in the morning?
Although I do this almost every day, I hate getting up early in the morning so I have mastered the art of literally getting out of bed and leaving home. It takes me 10 minutes from the time my alarm goes off to actually shutting the front door (and that includes feeding the cat…)

Do you prefer a lie in or an afternoon nap?
Lie in definitely (although I rarely get the opportunity to…)

Do you prefer a night in or a night out?
Night out – because after a day of training and work I love meeting my friends and letting off some steam.

What's worse, a traffic jam or airport queuing?
Traffic jam – trying to fit things around a tight schedule means that traffic is my worst enemy and yes I must admit I tend to suffer from road rage…

What's the funniest thing you've ever done?
I am pretty sure that my friends didn’t find it funny at the time but something that has really stuck was when we were abroad for a race and I managed to persuade everyone that the only way to cycle to race venue was through this huge tunnel. We must have passed through it about 5 times before realizing that there was in fact a more pleasant cycling path tomorrow. I’ll never forget the look on one of my friend’s face when she heard a huge trailer coming up from behind.

What's the funniest thing you've ever done?
I am not much of a prankster to be honest because I can’t lie so I always get caught but one time when I was little my father sent me to ask what my mum wanted to eat and I managed to persuade him that she wanted a pickled sandwich. To my surprise he actually believed me – not sure what was funnier, the look on the lady’s face as she took his order or the look on my mum’s face when he gave it to her.

What would your karaoke song be?
Wannabe by the Spice Girls (I regularly have my own karaoke sessions whilst cooking or in the car).

How many languages can you speak?
Three – English, Maltese and Italian

Which language would you most like to learn?
French – being part of a French team a lot of things tend to get lost in translation. Although me and my foreign team mates often see the funny side I think it would be nice to understand what was going on once in a while.)

Do you prefer sweet or savoury food?

One meal, one drink. What would you choose?
Cheese Platter and Pear Cider

What's your favourite film?
The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favourites

What's your favourite singer/band?
Calvin Harris

Summer or winter?
Hands down summer (I hate the cold)

Who's the funniest team-mate you've ever had?
Suzanne Farrugia also known as Dory – I think her nickname explains a lot … I once asked her to take a picture of me on a mountain whilst cycling. When we got home we realized that she had taken pictures of her own face….

Who's the best Maltese triathlete you've competed against?
I like to think that every race has a story and so it’s very hard for me to point to a particular athlete. I’ve had the toughest of battles with a number of local athletes in fact – this is what makes competing so much fun (having competitors who keep you on your toes)...You win some, you lose some, but you aim to give 100% each time.

When was your debut as a triathlete?
I’m not sure you could have called me a triathlete back then but I first competed in a mini triathlon in Birzebbugia about seven/eight years ago. I was studying in Italy at the time and happened to be in Malta on holiday. I remember thinking to my self I’m a runner so that’s a third of the race done… I definitively underestimated triathlon and the race took a lot out of me but I enjoyed it so much that a year later once I had ended my studies I decided to give triathlon a go and actually train properly for it.

What's your best result achieved so far?
I am not sure if it’s my best result on paper considering that I have managed a podium in my age group at a world championships but probably the result that I will always remember was way back in 2013 in Alanya in Turkey at the European Age Group Championships. It marked my debut at racing abroad and also my first ever standard distance triathlon (double the distance I had raced before). At the time I remember thinking that competing the event would be a reward in itself, let alone coming home with a gold medal in my age group. Who would have thought it! This race also marked a stepping stone in my career as a triathlete and it motivated me to keep working hard and improving.

Last question. Your best race?
My best ever race would probably have to be last year in Australia when I competed in Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Having qualified for the event a year before, I spent all of 2016 working hard towards this race and I must admit there were a lot of bumps along the way. Despite this, come race day, everything just went according to plan. In my years competing as a triathlete, I have rarely had a race where I can say that everything ran smoothly – this was one of those rare instances. Apart from this the scenery was stunning and conditions were great. Crossing the finish line and learning that I had managed to claim bronze in my age group was the cherry on the cake. It was literally a ‘mission accomplished’ moment for me and an experience that I will cherish for life.
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Friday, November 16, 2018
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