Mastering one sport can be difficult, mastering three is an entirely different challenge altogether. Factor-sponsored Beth Potter started out as a swimmer, then found great success as a medium distance runner, and has now combined those strengths to become one of the top triathletes in the world.
A physicist excelling at tri
Though the women’s pro peloton has the well-earned reputation for being highly educated, professional triathletes are also decided overachievers. Beth started out her professional career as a physics teacher, after which she achieved success in athletics, particularly running, and then transitioned to triathlon racing only within the past six years.
Her ability to thrive in environments which are typically male dominated is a hallmark of Beth’s strength of character as much as her physical abilities. “I always felt quite unique since I was one of only three women in my physics course. And I feel quite unique among triathletes as well since I have moved over from athletics.”
“It was natural to think about doing triathlons since I had never explored my potential on the road,” Beth said. “After Rio, there was a nice natural break and I decided – it wasn’t a rash decision, it was quite well thought-out – but I just decided to move to Leeds and give it a go. It has taken five years, but this year has definitely been worth it.”
Building skills and finding motivation
For someone who has already excelled at an elite level in two sports, starting from scratch as a cyclist takes a lot of determination and time in the saddle. “Picking up a whole new sport – cycling for me – and picking up all the skills that go with that. Racing experience is so important,” Beth explained. “It’s lots of things that you can only take from racing; you can’t simulate it in training.”
Like for all of us, it all comes down to time in the saddle. “This year I’ve really focused on riding skills and on the bike,” Beth said. “But of the three sports, this may surprise you, cycling is the one I am enjoying most. I really love riding my bike now. I find it a challenge, and I love that I can see I’m making big improvements. I still love running and track sessions, but I really love riding my bike!”
Getting out and riding in the beautiful region around Leeds can provide a lot of motivation to ride, so can having a powerful support network: “I think you can take motivation from lots of places. I feel like I am quite a motivated person anyways,” Beth explained. “But it’s really great having the people around me who believe in me. That inspires me every day.”
2022 her strongest year to date
Beth started off the year with victories in her first two events, first at the Quarteira, Portugal Europe Triathlon Cup in late March and then the Super League Arena Games in Munich in early April. Two second places in the Arena Games followed, securing her the Arena Games Series title.
But the biggest success of the year so far certainly is her bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. “I knew going in that I had a shot at a medal. To have actually succeeded makes me feel like I have really arrived.”
Knowing that she performs best after a heavy line up of races, Beth went into the Commonwealth Games knowing she was well prepared. “The race was a funny one. I didn’t think I would be leading so soon,” Beth revealed. “By the time we got to T2, I was in a leading group and I knew at that point that the bronze was probably mine. I kept pushing to close the gap to silver. But it wasn’t to be.”
“Every racer likes to have a competitive edge. To feel that competitive edge, there are two things: having the confidence in your training and having the confidence you take from your equipment,” Beth explained. “So having the best equipment gives me the belief that I can do it.”
Having the best equipment
Beth Potter has been riding Factor Bikes since 2021. “Factor reached out in 2020 and I was intrigued. They were a British brand and renowned for making a lot of top range bikes. I wanted to give it a go and see what we could do.”
The level of success she has found since joining with Factor has only reinforced the confidence that each side has in each other. “The most important thing for me is to choose brands that are always looking to push boundaries and develop the best product,” Beth said. “It’s nice to see how far I’ve come. Nice to see that the hard work I’ve put into the bike this year is paying off.”