Photo above from Jason Dodd Photography
It all started last year the following day after I got back from my Honeymoon. I gave a local Auqathlon a go and produced a good time and a top 5 position. I decided to train more for this discipline and by the time I raced my last race of the year in September I had knocked 3 minutes off my time and was going to ITU European Auqathlon Championship (in Chateauroux, France) on June 25th 2016 to represent Great Britain. This was an achievement I did not ever dream of or expect.
The winter came round quickly and I started to train regularly for this and made sure I worked hard in training. I decided to take coaching from a local Swimming coach as I needed to improve my swim and make improvements as I was only just swimming lengths at one speed all the time. The running wasn’t a problem as I am a running coach so this was easy for me.
By the time May had come round I had been training well, four runs a week, four swim sessions with 2 gym sessions as well. I done a local Auqathlon came 2nd and was over 2 minutes quicker which was great. At this point I didn’t really have any ambitions for the European Championships but jut to go and enjoy it.
However first stop was the National Auqathlon Championships in Leeds two weeks before my trip to France. It was a long journey to Leeds and once I was there I helped out at the Zone 3 tent for a few hours and everyone was nice and friendly. The following day was race day and all though I had won a local Auqathlon a few days earlier I was very much very tired and suffering from the races I had been doing the previous weeks. I was very nervous but got to the start line and started. As soon as the race started I got my googles knocked off and had to grab them and put them back on. By that time is was near the back and therefore had to swim hard, I made up ground but then got boxed in with other swimmers. I knew I had to push the run and with the course being hilly at Rounday park it was going to be tough. I came out 45 in the swim and not where I wanted to be but I pushed on to come 23rd overall by pushing it on the run, I was very happy with how I performed on the second part of the race, but when I found out I was 3rd in my Age group and automatic entry to the World Championships in Mexcio, I was over the moon.
After gaining this massive achievement and bronze medal, I had a few weeks left for the European’s. I decided to just try my best and enjoy the whole experience. The week leading up to France I came down with a bad cold and was unable to train for the whole week. I was advised to rest although feeling ill I packed my stuff (Including my amazing Vanquish wetsuit) and arrived in France the day before the race. It was very warm and we had a long Journey from Paris to Chateauroux which made me feel quite ill again. Once there I had this buzz and felt much better. The next day was the race day and all though was feeling slightly better I was very relaxed about the race. The time came to start the race and we were told prior no wetsuits allowed as the lake was 26 degrees. The swim was 1000 metres so a bit further than my normal races. We started with a large crowd watching and at the 500m point we had to get out and run back in, I noticed I had large group in front of me I pushed hard to get close to them. Once I came out of transition I then started my run and just went for it. I was picking people off throughout the run and I then saw two guys in my Age group in front of me at the last 4oometres, I somehow found something extra and sprinted passed them to take 3rd on the line. Another Bronze medal and another achievement I never thought would happen. I was over the moon and something to tell the Grand Kids in the future. I have taken a week off and now getting back into it, looking forward to Mexcio.