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NEWT Chairwoman - Kirsty Morgan

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I have always been sporty whether that be netball, martial arts or general gym and swim workouts. Working out is my reset and the main way I manage my wellbeing.

After attending my local Newport Park Run in 2012, I finally joined Lliswerry Runners a partner club of NEWTs where I met tonnes of friends. Then in 2013, I summoned up the courage to attend an intake evening for NEWTS.

I remember being slightly nervous, however, everyone was so friendly. I loved the idea of 3 sports in one and had always loved being in the water. The thought of open water was exhilarating. I’d joined a club, bought a road bike and a wetsuit, then signed up for the “Wye not Tri” super sprint event in September 2013. My Dad was a keen cyclist (now a tri club member) so he instantly gave me the biking confidence and understanding I needed.

My journey started at the "Wye not Tri" event, although I could have easily been put off with the uphill gravel run to T1 and the climbs on the bike. I also met Catherine Pendleton this day, now known as the Merthyr Mermaid after her amazing Antarctic ice swim. As expected, I enjoyed the finish line glory and then set out booking all my 2014 events. My journey has kept growing from there. At the same time, I started dating someone within the club (now married) who inspired me to complete my first 70.3 in 2015 and then my first full Iron distance in 2016 in Barcelona. The sport continues to be a household topic and lifestyle, and both of us are current committee members for the club.

In terms of my strengths…probably swim, bike, and most definitely then run (happy to be overtaken on this leg as I plod along!). But any could be my favourite in the moment of a good session with NEWTs. That’s the good thing about triathlon, it brings so much variety and accomplishments are so personal. One achievement that stands out for me is the last 10k of my Ironman Wales run. Knowing I had to run an exact same (ideally faster) final lap, to ensure I made the overall cut-off. This pressure, whilst not built for hills and whilst crazy drunk people screamed in my face (sorry if you were one of them!). Give me hope and I’ll hold onto it. I hope I’ve inspired people along the way. Chairwoman achievement wise…the last year has been tough, I’d like to be able to look back one day and say (supported by a team of awesome people and Welsh Tri) I successfully helped to guide the club through the unexpected time of a pandemic.

My favourite calendar events are Llanelli Sprint; it’s a good season opener and tester of fitness. With a strong club turnout and beachfront finish line, what’s not to love! Long Course Weekend is up there too for the atmosphere and varied options, the whole family can get involved in something. I do like smaller low-key events such as the River Wye Swim in Monmouth. I also must plug our club NEWTCracker Sprint Tri and Parc Bryn Bach Aquathlon Series. The aquathlons for 2021 are now live on the British Tri website – go go go!

Top tip for fellow triathletes: 1/ Hope and belief does not deliver without hard work. If you’re prepared to put the effort in, you can achieve anything you want to. 2/ Exercise is so good for your mental health. I’m so irritable without it - just ask my husband 3/ Take inspiration but comparison can be the thief of joy, what drives me is bettering myself - for me. Oh, and the occasional well-done pat on the back from my task-master Dad - Dean Edwards. Those are good days! I can’t wait to spectate him this week in Nottingham. Not to also forget to mention fellow club and family members: my amazing Mum who is now addicted to swimming and my sister who is thriving as a fantastic coach in our club. It’s a family affair.

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