Sonja Lombard is an Age Group athlete for AO. She's been with AO for over 5 years taking some breaks along the way. Sonja grew up in South Africa as a national level track athlete. Her and her husband Hannes Lombard, moved to the U.S. in the late 90's and have always been very active. Outside of triathlon and sports she has a keen eye on photography and design and gardening in her green house or tending to her new addition- chickens! For sure she brings some international flavor to the squad and has had her sons, Marc and Ben race for AO juniors as well. Full family affair as all the Lombards bike or run or swim year round! Have a fun read and I'm guessing may try her recipe as well!
1. Growing up in South Africa as a national level track athlete and now having lived in the U.S. for 25+ years, if you had your choice of training locations, which would you choose and why?
I would say it’s definitely here in the US. So much more opportunity to grow as an athlete here as opposed to way back then being an athlete in a country sanctioned off and with such horrible politics. We could never dream of even going to the Olympic Games or any other big international events. There was always a ceiling and it was not very high. I’m glad that things have changed now.
2. What motivates you to train and push yourself, especially if no race goal is in sight?
I become unhappy and restless when I don’t train. Training feels like an extension of who I am I suppose. So in that regard I don’t need a big event to keep me motivated ,but as we all know a goal/ big race helps if it is freezing and you have to go out on your bike.
3. Is there a favorite South African recipe that you love to make that most friends simply don't like?
Not really, but Bobotie comes close I think. It’s ground beef mixed with onions and raisins in a curry sauce, coated with eggs. You bake it in the oven like a lasagne. You should try it. It’s really good.
4. What training location is among your favorite places to train at and why?
I have a few. Lake Jordan Saturday’s swim ,bike ,run when I was still training with Marc, Cierra, Sanya and Ben. Those kids made me work as hard as I could to keep up with them! Humbling to say the least. Nowadays it’s the NRT and Brett when he cycled with us who humbled me every time. When he wasn’t there the rides with you and Irene made it fun always. Lastly swimming at the Y. Where mostly I’m the nail and not the hammer. But that pool has a good vibe.
5. Growing up as a very active family with your boys having participated in triathlon and running for their high school, and a husband who's an avid cyclist, just how important is being fit? Where did that mindset come from?
Gosh yes! We are active. Used to be more so but I try to keep them all aware of how important keeping fit is. Sometimes I think I push the envelope a bit because as I mentioned ,for me it’s just part of who I am and that is definitely not the case for the boys. But they try their best and as soon as they are done and those endorphins kicks in, we are all happy for keeping fit.
6. You've been an race photographer and had races use your photos before for promotional purposes, what makes a racing photograph stand out?
It’s the same as with any good photograph. Great composition and lighting and mood. It also depends on what you want to capture. Emotion, action, or just angles that makes things interesting and not just another photo.
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