Sonia Bracegirdle



Current Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands and Christchurch, New Zealand

Hometown: Whangarei, New Zealand

How did you get your start in triathlon?

I did my first triathlon in 1997, thanks to the WeetBix Kiwi Kids Triathlon series, which was advertised on the back of cereal boxes! I raced a bit throughout high school, then stopped for 15 years before deciding that I needed a hobby at the start of 2017. One thing led to another and here we are!

Education and Career

  • MA/MSci in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge

  • DPhil (aka PhD) in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford.

  • Management Consulting (McKinsey and BCG) and biotech venture capital

  • Business development for a biotech start-up

Athletic Highlights

  • 2nd IRONMAN Taiwan - 2018

  • 4th Challenge Geraardsbergen - 2018

  • 5th Pays d'Aix 70.3 - 2018

  • Won four Blue Boat Races with Oxford and Cambridge - 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011

  • Won a 69-mile ultra marathon across the UK - 2013

What is your favorite race moment or finish?

“Afraid this isn't a triathlon example, but finishing a 3-day Ultra-marathon in Patagonia with my husband. El Cruce is one of the most incredible events I've done - incredible scenery, lots of mountains, two border crossings (from Argentina to Chile and back again) and two nights of camping with a huge barbecue. Highly recommended!”

Why Purple Patch?

“Matt has a pragmatic, logical approach to training and racing, with a flexibility that allows me to embrace the things I love about triathlon. My journey towards a professional career in this sport has been anything but linear, having migrated from the junior triathlon ranks to rowing as a PhD student and ultra-marathon runner during my corporate career, before recently returning to triathlon once again. In Matt, I’m confident that I’m working with a coach who is open and honest about the strengths and weaknesses I’ve developed along the way, and who will thus help me realise my full potential in a sustainable and progressive manner. From the moment I first reached out, Matt and the Purple Patch team welcomed me as part of the family. I’m excited to embark on my first season with the professional squad, and look forward to growing as an athlete, building new friendships and training consistently for years to come!”

Interesting Facts about Sonia

My husband and I spent 6 months living in a van in South America in 2016. We also rode from the sea to the top of Mauna Kea on Hawaii in 2017 - an ascent of 4,192m and one of the hardest things I've ever done!

Support Crew

How they make a difference. My husband, Wouter, none of this would be possible without his continued support, guidance, cheer leading, and patience...particularly when I'm in the midst of training for an IRONMAN.