Canterbury Harrier Runner & Running coach Level 2
Tell us your story.
I am no spring chicken and I am 36; I only started running in 2012. I was inspired by the London 2012 Olympics to do something, which ended up me joining my local running club, Canterbury Harriers. I didn’t train that regularly until the following year so progress wasn’t quick. I knew if I practiced I could be a lot better and ended up doing that. I knew I was never going to be the fastest in my area, club or be elite. In 2013, I competed in local triathlons but ended up injuring my calf where I struggled for 7 months on and off so I became a coach for my club. The following year I was competing again in triathlons but injured my Achilles and thought I wouldn’t be able to run again.
I managed to overcome this and came back slowly which saw me PB in every running race I took part in for a year; I think there were 15 PB’s and a course record, which I am very proud of. I like to help others and whenever I train and see people doing what I love I help them. I am an amateur athlete who enjoys competing at Age Group level.
How did you get into Aquathlons?
I first started running in 2012 and after watching the Olympics, I was inspired to try a triathlon, after running was no longer challenging enough. In 2015 I was in the process of getting married but didn’t have the time to train for the triathlons so I decided to go into aquathlons, as I was quite a strong swimmer and runner.
How long have you been doing Aquathlons?
I competed in my first race in July 2015.
How many long races have you done?
My longest race is a marathon, which I competed in 2016 at Manchester. It was a disaster as so many things went wrong on the day. My longest aquathlon was a middle distance aquathlon which is a 1900m swim followed by a 10k run and this was at Hever Castle. I have competed in quite a few half marathons.
Which is your favourite discipline (swimming, biking or running) and why?
With the aquathlon I actually like both disciplines. My running is a lot stronger, but I see the swimming as damage limitation and when I am on the run it is when I am able to really push it and push other athletes to their limit. I enjoy the feeling that I get on the run, knowing I am going to catch people.
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome or been faced with during your training/racing?
My greatest challenge I have overcome are my injuries when I first took up running. I wanted to just give up as I thought running was not for me as I kept getting injured when I first took it up in 2012. It was hard has every time I came back I kept going backwards to a point I didn’t know what to do. I stayed positive and was always determined to overcome this, and I did as I went a long period injury free which brought me medals and PB’s. I now train smart and listen to my body.
What is your greatest accomplishment in Aquathlons?
3rd in the European Championships (Age Group) has to be my best accomplishment on my debut. I never expected it and I had to run very hard. I had to sprint the last 400m to go past two people. I found something that day I never had before. It was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I would tell people to keep pushing until they finish. However 2019 becoming the European Aquathlon Champion (Age Group) was a big shocked and is up there too.
What keeps you motivated when training/racing gets tough?
It’s easy, to look back on what I have achieved in such a small time which motivates me to keep improving and try to better myself.
Who, in the triathlon community, inspires you?
It has to be Gwen Jorgensen, watching her this year has really inspired me. I like the way she attacks the run and destroys the field to win. This inspires me in my races, however she has to marathons now.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to a new triathlete?
My advice would be to keep training, don’t over train, train smart and make sure you get your rest days in each week. Always believe in yourself and put the work in training and you will be rewarded and can achieve great things.
Photo By Jason Dodd Photography