Where to begin: My triathlon journey

13 Apr 2017

I did my first triathlon in July 2015 having put together 33 relay teams and 10 individuals to take part for the fabulous charity The Oscar Foundation. We raised an incredible £30,000 it was a super event enjoyed by all, we organised swim, bike and run coaches to take sessions for the group which brought everyone together and made training much more enjoyable. I was surprised to do the race in 2 hr 38 mins which I later discovered was within the Island Games qualifying time of 2 hr 40.

I decided to keep up with the training and by Christmas I had signed up with 'no nonsense' Nick Saunders of TPS. For me the best part was that I no longer had to think about what training to do each day,  all that was taken care of. The challenge now was fitting it all in with my busy work schedule and home life with four children.

I started to get up even earlier with a few 5 am starts, squeeze in runs between meetings and get on the turbo late at night if that meant doing the session. By 2016 my name was put forward for contention for the Island Games team and the criteria was the Jersey and Guernsey race.

The Jersey race was another tough one with rough sea conditions and spitting rain meant for a slippy road circuit with lots of people wiping out. I had struggled on the swim but caught up on the bike but that meant going into the run I was pretty exhausted and unready for 10 k ahead. My finish time was 2 hr 31,  I was chuffed, a 7 minute improvement on last years race. I had a poor run but it was v unlikely I would make the Island Games a team as I came 7th out of the eligible girls and there are only 5 places.

So a few of us then did the Guernsey race, the conditions were beautiful, the sea was calm which meant I had a much better chance of coming closer to the better girls. I had a good swim and then knew the bike course was flat so I went all out and overtook a few people. I went into the run feeling stronger than in the Jersey race but it was an undulating course along the coast, (rather smelly around the dump but beautiful coastline!) I put everything into it and managed to come in as first Jersey lady with a time of 2 hr 30.

Unfortunately the bike course had been shortened so it was rumoured that the Guernsey results would not be considered for Island Games so I assumed I was out of contention.

By this stage I was pretty hooked on the training regime, I had met some great people and had never been so fit so I carried on with the programme and finished the season doing Stoke on Trent, a UK race which I enjoyed.

I kept up the training during the winter which was luckily not too wet but rather cold at times. By January one of the top girls Della Roderick decided that she was going to pull out of the Island Games and focus on her age group and aim for the worlds in Rotterdam. That meant that Claire Kybett and I had to race for the reserve position.

The race comprised a 750m pool swim, 20 k bike around the track and a 5 k run. I was going to require a PB if I was to come anywhere close to her she is a fabulous pool swimmer. I did my best but came out of the swim 2 mins 30 behind, 'not much to do on the bike then !! It felt like I was sat there for days waiting for my turn to take off. I made up 45 seconds on the bike which was not enough going into the run, it was a cold day and the boys were finishing their race before I began my run!  Anyway well done Claire she had a good race I was obviously disappointed but at least it was all over. I will  be travelling to Gotland in June 2017 as a reserve and look forward to it.

On the advice of my training buddy Fintan Kennedy I applied to the Irish team for an age group place for the Rotterdam World Triathlon in September 2017 and was delighted to get a place! So I continue to train and look forward to representing Ireland.

 


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