I’m fairly new to the world of Triathlon, having mainly been a runner in the past. It was only after getting into road cycling in 2016 to cope with running injuries that I realised I was only a wetsuit away from becoming a triathlete!
I threw myself into the sport, quickly building up from Sprint to Olympic and then to Half Iron distances in my first year. Around the same time I realised that I desperately needed some coaching with my swimming and so joined Swindon Triathlon Club. The Club has been welcoming and I’ve made plenty of new friends all with the shared interest of swimming biking and running! The support from the coaches within the club is great and all abilities are welcomed and catered for at each of the training sessions.
Since joining the club I’ve made the most of the coached swim and run training, enjoying the variety of the sessions and slowly improving my times and overall fitness. Totally hooked by the world of Tri I now spend much of my spare time in various dodgy Lycra outfits training with the club for my next event.
I have always been reasonably fit but at the grand age of 39 was asked to compete in a sprint triathlon.
At first, I was not interested because I had not been running for approximately 20 years and could only swim breaststroke. But nevertheless, I took up the challenge.
I started running 3K twice a week and at first went to the local pool to improve my swimming. I then decided to join the Swindon triathlon club.
The swimming coaching is outstanding, and I enjoy the Thursday night swims even though I am still one of the slowest swimmers.
The coaches have improved my stroke and fitness over the years and members have encouraged me to push myself each year.
In 2019 I completed my first Ironman in Wales in a very respectable 12hour 14mins.
After being a keen runner and gym goer for many years, I wanted to try cycling and triathlon after watching the London 2012 Olympics. I finally took the plunge in 2014 when my friend suggested that I sign up for Challenge Weymouth (half iron distance). I didn’t need much encouragement.
One bike later and several hundred pounds spent, I had myself a bike, some strange skin tight lycra mankini and lots of swimming toys. I learnt how to use cleats and cycle, had swimming lessons and found myself completing my first half iron distance event within a year.
I realised I was a sucker for punishment and was hooked.
This year you will find me training for my first iron distance race in Copenhagen, the half outlaw event and the white horse challenge to name a few. But it is my love for training and helping others that got me into get involved with the Swindon Tri club 2 years ago. I love training, meeting new people and encouraging others to take the plunge. If I can do it, anyone can.
I had always written off endurance sports as not for me. I’d previously been into figure skating and climbing but in 2017 I had too much time on my hands and bought a bike and enjoyed cycling. I tried my local parkrun and got hooked on running not long after, then I thought why not add a third sport to the mix and take the plunge into triathlon.
Having not swum front crawl since I was a kid I felt a bit intimidated but thanks to the encouraging club swim sessions I was confident swimming around the lake in no time. The supportive and competitive atmosphere of the club has helped motivate and structure my training and I am loving the variety of the sport, never a dull day!
This year I completed my first half distance race, I thoroughly enjoyed it surprising myself with my time.
I have been a triathlete for nearly half of my life and can truly say that it has shaped me in many more ways than just swimming, cycling and running. Triathlon requires focus, patience, skill and a willingness to learn – all traits that are good for any walk of life. It is really simple although many of us try to make it complicated – myself included! There is a freedom and huge sense of personal achievement to be gained from each and every session. During my time in the sport I have made some great friends and met amazing people and continue to be humbled by the exploits of those around me.
My own story is that as a child I was a national level swimmer. I fell into triathlon in the mid 90’s when I took part in a triathlon relay – obviously doing the swim leg! The following year I borrowed a road bike and took part in my first triathlon. It was the hardest event I had ever done (it was an odd distance between sprint and Olympic distance) but I was hooked. Since those early days I progressed through the distances up to my first Ironman in 2007. I won my age at Ireland 70.3 in 2012 and went to Las Vegas for the Half Ironman world championships in 2013. I also represented GB in France at the age group long distance world championships that year. In 2014 at the Outlaw I finished 10th individual in 9:45. Since then my own triathlon racing has taken a back seat although I have competed in various time trials on the bike and completed three marathons. I do, however, still harbour a desire to race in Kona so never say never.
I started coaching in 2013 after 17 years in the sport, when I decided that at that stage I might just know enough to help others!
I jumped straight into the Triathlon deep end and entered Ironman Wales in 2014. I thought I would do triathlon for a year, tick off an Ironman and move on – how wrong I was! I have since completed 5 Ironman races and countless 70.3’s, qualified for Kona and become hooked on the sport.
When I first moved to Swindon in 2013 I didn’t know anyone, but through joining the club I quickly gained a huge group of new friends and training partners. The group sessions are great motivators, and the coaches provide such a great level of support, knowledge and encouragement – inspiring me to complete my Level 1 coaching qualification in 2021!
I completed my first triathlon in 2016, a local sprint distance, and won the Vet category - I was addicted!! Since then I have competed as a GB Age Grouper racing at Middle Distance (half iron).
I joined the Swindon Triathlon Cub in 2017 and have loved being a part of the club and recently became the social secretary - I haven't had a great deal to do as shortly after taking on the role COVID hit! But now restrictions are lifting I guess I will start having to do something!!!
I did my first triathlon in 2005 in London. An Olympic Distance race that was, at the time, the longest I had ever exercised in one go in my life. Although slow I found I enjoyed finishing. After a few half iron distance races, one of which I finished dead last (and by a long way), I fell into ultra triathlon. My first race was a Double iron, then a Triple and I followed that with Quin. I then got quite good for a couple of years and won a Triple and a 1 a day Double before being able to finish a 1 a day Deca (10 irons in 10 days). My last race was a failed attempt at the Continuous Deca in 2019 - 90 miles from the finish - so that is unfinished business!