So how did I get into Triathlon? Thats what most of my friends and Family ask me.
It all started back in March 2016 when I got on a plane to Majorca to watch Dan take part in Ironman Mallorca 70.3. This is also where I met Sam Mountain and this was going to be an experience that both Sam and I wouldn’t forget.
I have a lot of confidence issues over the last few years for many of personal reasons, so sitting round the dinner table with a bunch of Triathletes was very intimidating. Yes I’ve ran the London Marathon twice but it was all in the aid of charity and took me over 6 1/2 hours. I wasn’t the greatest runner and nor was I ever going to be but the same bunch of Triathletes on this trip made me realise that I could do anything I wanted to with a bit of hard work. It was great listening to stories about how they all got into triathlon.
All of these people I can happily say are now my friends and have made many more along the way…….. but this is what SYTRI is all about, a friendly and social club that you can enjoy, make friends and make memories
So my journey with SYTRI Began!
Shortly after arriving back in the UK I had received my 12 week training plan for the Great North Run from Sam. Now remember me saying I’ve done a marathon? I might have the medal for it but I certainly didn’t run it all. I could just about run 10K and the rest was run/walk.
This was my chance to prove that I’m a somebody, but before I could do that, I needed to prove it to myself.
I worked hard over the 12 weeks and with Dan helping me along the way, before I knew it race day was here.
It was a hot day and with 55,000 people taking part it was going to be a long day……. but once I got going, I found my pace and went for it. I managed to get a 6 minute Personal Best but best of all I managed to run the whole 13.1 miles without stopping.
So Whats next! I know, lets put in for a Triathlon. Dan believed in me and so did SYTRI. so I put in for Salford Sprint Triathlon July 2017.
Hang on! What am I doing? I can barely swim and I haven’t rode a bike since I were 13 (ha ha I bet your trying to work out how long ago that was)
I had all of this training to do as well as a full time job that included shifts and a full time mom to Joshua
So this is when I joined Amphibian Triathlon Coaching and Tina Peck became my coach. Bless her I don’t think she realised what she let herself in for. She soon realised that I liked to spring races on her that I had entered last minute.
We started the training in January which would give us enough time to to gain confidence in all 3 disciplines, well 4 if you want to include transition, I mean that deserves a medal in itself.
So we started off with a GoTri Aquathlon which was a 200m swim and a 2.5K Run, then 4 weeks later the distance was doubled by doing Darwins Challenge (that last hill still hurts. Thanks Jo Pike for recommending that while we were in Majorca). At the same time I was learning to ride a road bike and had entered a 40K sportive in Chester to gain road confidence. Plus i was still running and managed to get a 3 minutes PB on my 10K at Market Drayton.
Sophie at SW Sports massage and rehab and a fellow triathlete was always on standby to give me fresh legs when I needed them.
The last and final challenge I had to face before race day was putting on a wetsuit and do open water swimming but after a couple of sessions I was happily swimming around Walford Lake.
By the time Salford Triathlon neared I knew I was able to complete the swim, bike and run individually but having to put them altogether was going to be a challenge and with a week to go, race day nerves kicked in, it also didn’t help to see that Tina was in the same wave as me……… Yes thats right! my triathlon coach.
However thanks to the support of Dan, Tina, Sam and the everyone from the club I managed to get to the start line raring to go – once the race started the doubts vanished and there was no stopping me!
I remember coming out of the swim to see Stephen Peck with a smile and shouted at me to look right. I had come out of the swim in front of many other from my wave. As I was running to transition, I saw some of the SYTRI team who had raced earlier were cheering me on, even Dan had time to blow kisses at me while he was crossing the finish line. The technical bike course went well, even avoiding a lorry blocking the course at one point! The run was to be the hardest part, with lots of twists and turns making it difficult to get into a good rhythm but I persevered and a few high 5s from other members of the club really did helped. However the best and the most rewarding part was when i turned onto the finishing straight, there was massive cheers from Dan and SYtri club members. They had all waited for me.
OK I don’t have time to cry…….. I still need to cross the finish line. That is very much a moment I will NEVER forget.
Now where is the Champagne!
After achieving all that, I went on to complete Nantwich Sprint Tri 2 weeks later and Shrewsbury Tri (a river swim) not long after that. After a very much needed holiday, I went to run the Birmingham Marathon with Dan in the October and gaining another PB. This was Dans first Marathon. With him by my side and the training plans I got from Tina I managed to run the first 21 miles before I had to run/walk the rest of the way to the finish line.
After having a wonderful and rewarding first year with SYTRI, it was soon to be made even better by being voted the Best Newcomer of 2017 by many of the club members.
When people say SYTRI is a friendly club, It is 100% true. It is now apart of me for the rest of my life…… well it has to be as I have the club logo tattooed on my shoulder.
Bring on 2018!