The Triathlon Bug
After my first triathlon at Thame in 2010, I went to Nottingham later that year to compete in another sprint race. By now I had my ‘entry level’ specialize road bike (kinda the cheapest you can get); however this triathlon was in a VERY different league!. Lots of eye candy looking at other athletes bikes and kit and I felt completely out of my league! This time it was a lake swim – the full 750m swim, 20k bike around the rowing lake at Holme Pierrepont and a 5k lap run around the lake. The swim was hilarious as there was so much weed in the water it felt like you were swimming through mud. I finished mid pack overall and was really chuffed!. I wanted more…
2011 I went nuts! By then I had joined Oxford Tri, went to their coached swim sessions and fell in love with the triathlon community. One thing that I continue to enjoy about competing is the comradery, and at how embracing the triathlon community is. I don’t experience any ‘snobbery’ within triathlon, with the community accepting people of all shapes and sizes and ability. If you forgot something on race day then more than one person will be willing to loan your or give you stuff so that will not miss out on your race.
I found out that you could represent Great Britain at age group racing via Oxford Tri.(Thank you Jane Bell). I had by then become a member of the British Triathlon Federation as you need be a member to ‘register’ your intent. Then you have to enter one (or all!) of their 3 qualification races for the event you wish to compete in. These now range from super sprint triathlon though to long distance tri’s and all the in between events of duathlons, aquathons and aquabikes – There are now also relays which is the most fun!
I first represented GB in 2012. I took a punt at a qualification race and thought if I don’t register my intent I can’t be considered. I couldn’t have been more shocked to receive an automatic qualification spot (Q2) at my first attempt. The championships were in Aukland – I was going as who knows this could be my only chance! Disaster struck 3 weeks out where I tore my calf muscle and I was told not to compete. Well that wasn’t going to happen. I knew if I could run/hobble to my bike after the swim then I could run/hobble the 5k. I went and I finished 53rd in the world. For me an auspicious number as it was the house number I grew up in and from where my Dad had taken me to all my athletic training and meetings.
So with the exception 2020 I have managed to represent GB at triathlons, duathlons and aquabikes, combining my love of travel with my love of this sport. My husband, Phil has been hugely encouraging and supportive and without this I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I have done so far. I have visited places I wouldn’t have thought I would have wanted to go to and I have met and befriended some incredible humble and talented triathletes along the way.