Meet the athletes

Want to find out more about the Great Britain Triathlon Team?

Get to know the 36 athletes on the UK Sport Lottery Funded World-Class Olympic and Paralympic Performance Programme.

From Merthyr to Bermuda , a whirlwind of a triathlon Journey

Published:

To be able to pull on the Welsh Kit and represent my Country was an honour I thought had passed me by but the opportunity presented by Welsh Triathlon was inspirational.

Its 2020 and i’ve arrived at a point when I should have just been returning from representing GB in the Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Canada.

Unfortunately due to Covid, wearing the GB vest will have to wait until next year when my place has been rolled over to Bermuda , I’m sure I can live with the disappointment!

How have I got here? Surely I must be some sort of super athlete who has trained at Triathlon for years to achieve National honours? Nothing could be further from the truth.

As a youngster I had played rugby, football and swam a bit but those days were far behind me. In 2016 I realised my 60th birthday was rapidly approaching and I needed to improve my fitness , despite being overweight with dodgy knees I looked around for motivation. I was an ok swimmer and had completed some charity bicycle rides and even the London Marathon back in 1982 but my fitness now needed a focus so I tried a Go Try A Tri in Merthyr and caught the bug

I had never experienced such a supportive atmosphere in a sporting environment before. From the pool swim to the cycle track bike route to a shuffle run around the streets of Merthyr I was hooked.

Around the same time I joined a brand new triathlon club in my town as I thought their kit was really cool.

My journey continued from Pool based Sprint Triathlons in Ammanford to sea swim Aquathon events in Aberavon. In 2019 I entered the SWYD Triathlon in Barry and managed to post a completion time for my age group ,60-65 ,to qualify for the newly formed TîmTri Cymru representing Wales in Nottingham and following that in the Team event in Bala.

To be able to pull on the Welsh Kit and represent my Country was an honour I thought had passed me by but the opportunity presented by Welsh Triathlon was inspirational.

 

During the Summer I had entered my Cardiff Sprint Triathlon completion time more in hope than expectation as a qualification time to British Triathlon for acceptance to the World Championships. There are several qualification events held throughout Britain during the year and the top ten times are offered places in the GB Team I was lucky enough to qualify.

 

Covid intervened and like everyone all my plans have had to be re thought. No access to pools and gyms, no group bike rides or run training , adaptation is the name of the game. Open water swims have replaced pool sessions, Jacksons Bay and Llandegfedd resevoir especially. Group outdoor bike rides replaced with Zoom/Zwift sessions , luckily my triathlon club have organised many events to participate in from Club Zwift 24hr cycle marathons to virtual group rides. Mountain biking has been a godsend  with new routes and skills to learn. Group runs have been replaced by solo routes. Technology has really helped through these new challenges, where would I be without Zwift/Strava/Podcasts?

I became a Triathlon Level one coach and have enjoyed completing CPD’s to increase my knowledge , there are also many free sporting courses through the Open University which really help keep inspiration high.

Finally what does it mean to me an average guy to have pulled on the Welsh Tri Suit and next year the GB Tri suit? The feeling is one of immense pride ,trepidation and gratitude to a sport that gives so much.

The opportunities provided by Triathlon have been life affirming and life changing , I’ve rubbed shoulders with elite athletes, celebrities , Octogenarians , and athletes covering the whole spectrum of abilities and loved every second of it.

I was so lucky to stumble into the world of Triathlon , from standing on the beach in Tenby surrounded by thousands of people listening to ACDC and Mae hen wlad fy nhadau blasted out before diving into the sea , to running alongside the banks of the River Trent in my Wesh vest to standing poolside in Ammanford in early April, my journey has been humbling.

With all my heart I encourage my fellow triathletes to look at the work Welsh Tri is doing to encourage Age Group participation through the Super Series and Tim Tri Cymru and also give GB Age Group qualification a go , you might not make it this time but the inspiration to try really adds to your motivation and love of this great sport.

Phil Murrow - Welsh Triathlon member for 4 years.

 

 

Our website is full of ways to get involved with Welsh Triathlon , be that partcicpating in your first GOTRI becoming an age group athlete, to becoming a volunteer, we have even launched a new supporter package. Become a part of our triathlon family today. 

Thanks to our Partners

Join Us

And enjoy insurance benefits, race licensing and more...