Could you qualify for a World Championship Event by following a thetrilife.com training plan? Well we know you can because that is exactly what Bruce Willerton did in 2013. Here is his story:
Agony to ecstasy - Wimbleball 2013
"I kind of fell into this sport in 2007 when my Canadian sister in law announced she was doing Ironman UK and would we like to watch! I bought a book, joined our local triathlon club and took up triathlon at the tender age of 49. I had run competitively in the 80's-one of the highlights was finishing 3rd in the Bath Half marathon in 66 mins and 1 second in 1983. I have always kept myself fit and this became a bigger challenge when I got married in 1991 to Sarah and we subsequently had 3 children."
In 2007, Bruce did complete a number of long distance triathlons including IM 70.3 UK on the way to IM UK then being held at Sherborne.
Bruce continues: "Last year however I began to suffer with recurring calf injuries and announced my retirement after doing the Bristol triathlon. Then my little brother announced he was coming to the UK and wanted to do Wimbleball in 2013. My initial reaction was - stuff that I have retired! Upon reflection I decided to do something about the injuries."
"I enrolled with thetrilife.com and completed their 6 month training program. What I like is structure. If it's written down I plan it into my week. Both Sarah and I have stressful jobs so squeezing in training sessions is challenging to say the least. Sarah is a keen runner and we did many of the running sessions together and this was good for both us. thetrilife.com were great, especially Liz, giving me advice when I needed it at the low ebbs of training e.g. getting back on track after illness."
"My race targets which were challenging :
Top 3 in age group
Qualify for Vegas world 70.3 champs
Beat 2007 time
Beat my brother"
"I was in good shape. I felt very calm and all the preparations for the swim went well. I had gone over my nutrition plan in my mind and was ready to go. Swimming is by far my weakest event but I had really responded to the sessions set by thetrilife.com so I felt good. I went off in the 2nd wave to the sounds of the national anthem and tried to stay out of trouble early on as it can be a feeding frenzy in there. The water was crystal clear and cold but I felt brilliant and did a good time for me 41 mins. I was not last out of the water which was a relief and had a good clean swim with no fisticuffs."
But the weather on race day was atrocious - cold wind and sometimes torrential rain. Bruce told us:
"Out on the bike, the first thing I noticed was the cold- I had heeded the warning and rode in a bike jacket but I felt it. Quotes like "it was drier on the swim" and "I wish I'd overslept today" kept the humour up. I saw my training partner with a puncture at 38 miles and it was all looking bad on a personal level. The bike course deserves respect but I had trained really hard on the hills and I rode 20 mins slower than 2007."
"Finishing time was 6.28, 4th in age group. Was it worth going going the presentations to see if a slot comes up for Vegas? My friends tried to make me feel better at the camp site by citing the atrocious conditions but I was not happy with my performance. I had hoped for better. I was so glad I went. I got the slot and so did my brother in his age group! Thetrilife.com have kindly said they will help me train for Vegas, I am motivated again, I am going to vvvvvvveeeeegggggaaaaasssss."