So I guess I should start with why? Why triathlon? Well, for as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with sport… Mainly playing/ doing/ participating but I’ll watch any sport too, although usually I end up jealous that I’m not taking part!
At school I played every sport under the sun; netball, tennis, rounders, athletics (800m and high jump were my events), swimming and my first true love- lacrosse. I didn’t just love sport, I ate, slept, breathed it… You’d find me throwing and catching a lacrosse ball against a wall or with friends just about every second of the day I wasn’t required to sit and listen to lessons…
After school I went straight to study Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham, chosen largely because they have a fantastic lacrosse set up there… Plus it was ‘far enough away from home without being too far’! Naturally I joined the lacrosse club at Brum and took an active part in the squad, floating between the 1st and 2nd teams, which was frustrating at times, but I made it to BUSA finals (BUCS as it is now- sorry, I’m old) all three years, although that gold eluded us each time. After a fantastic three years at uni I graduated, and decided to stick around in my beloved Birmingham, where I continued to play lacrosse for a club during the year after uni whilst juggling a very active social life and job as a junior physiotherapist in the NHS. I decided to enter the Birmingham Half Marathon in 2010, which I guess was the turning point for me… I discovered running! The race itself was rather unremarkable, I definitely hadn’t done enough training and I remember getting to 8 miles thinking I couldn’t go on, but I pushed through and at 10 miles (the hill- you’ll know if you’ve run it) I swore I’d never do it again! After finishing my first half marathon in 1:54, I was broken for a good few days, but this didn’t put me off entering for the next year, plus a couple of others along the way!
In 2012, my cousin was diagnosed with MS at a young age. This encouraged me to do something I’d always wanted to do, enter the London Marathon. Unsuccessful in the ballot (aren’t we all), I secured a place through the MS Society and after pledging to raise £2000 I began my training. It was during this training that I decided to start swimming, my mum had always swum and I’d enjoyed it growing up, swimming competitively at school until the age of 18. After about 6 years without swimming more than a couple of lengths I started going to the local pool every morning to get my laps in and was fortunate to share a lane with a group of fantastic triathletes, some of whom have become great friends of mine now. If I’m honest, I’d no clue what triathlon really was, I knew my cousin had completed an Ironman- no idea what that was at the time, and my new friend Steve talked me in to joining the triathlon club, which proved to be a life changing decision! Within no time at all I was a fully fledged member of the BRAT club, attending regular training sessions, purchased a bike and entered my first triathlon. I completed my first marathon and first triathlon within a month of each other and needless to say, I was totally hooked 🙂 To top it off, in my final triathlon of the season I (somehow) qualified to represent my age-group for Great Britain at the European Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in 2014. Unfortunately, for various reasons I was unable to go, which I regret massively to this day… Still, maybe I’ll qualify again someday.
So 2 years on, I’ve finished 9 marathons, numerous half marathons and a number of sprint/ Olympic triathlons, as well as completing my first Half Ironman at Challenge Weymouth last September with two of my friends, Mark and Simon. So much has changed since then, and now I’m just over 9 weeks out from attempting my first full Ironman in Copenhagen in August with Simon (now my fantastic boyfriend!) To say I’m scared and feeling hugely under prepared is an understatement, but I will cross that finish line on August 23rd even if I have to crawl.
That’s it for now, thanks for stopping by!