I was first inspired to have a go at triathlon ten years ago. Climbing in Sri Lanka I was fed penguin biscuits and inspirational stories by two tough and fabulous Canadian Ironman athletes, and the seed was sown.
My first crack at triathlon was an Olympic triathlon in which I wore a friend’s wetsuit and did the road bike leg on my mountain bike. My chain fell off a kilometre from the finish and I didn’t know enough bike maintenance to put it back on. I chirpily jogged to the finish, carrying my bike.
Undaunted, my first attempt at Ironman took place in Bolton in 2009. Key highlights included hanging onto a buoy halfway around the swim, utterly shattered, and getting lost on the second lap of the bike, ending up prematurely at the finishing chute and…ahem…once again having to walk my bike back to the start of the third lap and ending up caught by the broom wagon before I could make it to the finishing line for real.
In 2012 I completed my first Ironman at Zurich! The hairs on my arms still stand up when I recall the feeling of power and joy that struck me halfway around the bike course, when I suddenly realised that I was on time to finish, and had finally earned my place in the race.
Three years on, a lifetime of late nights and placing career over training have brought me back to pre-Ironman levels of fitness. With the help of thetrilife Masters programme I am raising my game, and am planning to beast Ironman Copenhagen in August with a group of friends. I look forward to sharing the lows and highs with you as we go!