An East Finchley woman who used a pair of miscarriages to inspire her is heading to the Netherlands for the World Sprint Triathlon Championships this weekend.

Karina Kaufmann, aged 36, grew up in East Finchley and still lives there with her husband James and four children, but will swap north London for Rotterdam on Sunday.

She will hope to take to the same podium which has hosted the likes of Jonny Brownlee in recent years, with the gruelling competition including a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre cycle and five-kilometre sprint - half the distance of an Olympic triathlon.

Always sporty, shew as a keen skier in younger days and close to qualifying for the British junior skiing team, but chose academia instead, later earning a PhD in Chemistry before entering the world of work.

But two heartbreaking losses during pregnancy left her looking for something new to inspire her, and having always been interested by the idea of doing a triathlon, she chanelled her passion into training to finish second in her age group two years running at the London Triathlon.

"I was in a very low place after two miscarriages, and I needed a change of scenery,” she said.

“I'd always wanted to do a triathlon, and after my friend Rob did the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, I thought I'd give it a go.

"I'm glad I did - I rediscovered my love of sport, and of being outdoors. It helped me find a way to stay sane with four lovely kids running around the house."

Kaufmann has completed eight triathlons since taking up the sport, as well as getting back in to a range of other disciplines.

But her new-found love has also brought with it as a surprise career change after a chance meeting during her first race.

She was introduced to fellow enthusiast Simon Marks during that Blenheim Triathlon, and after both qualifying as personal trainers a year later, have since launched their own business venture, FreeRange Fitness, which focuses on keeping mums and dads fit while dealing with the daily stresses of running a family.

“My rekindled love of sport has taken me from a very low point in my life to representing my country,” said Karina.

“It’s an honour and a privilege, and I hope that somehow my story can inspire other women to find a way to live a fit and healthy lifestyle – for themselves and for their family.

"One of the best things about the World Championships will be knowing that my daughter Aurora will be there cheering me on. I hope I can be a good role model for her and her sisters.”