I am “Tri” ing to fend off old age but most of all I Tri because I love swimming, biking and running.
Around 10% of triathletes at major events are female – that figure decreases in the upper age groups so I hope to bolster this percentage.
I remember the first pool session with NEWTs. I turned up expecting to be interviewed but instead was asked if I’d brought my swim kit! The NEWT club welcomed me and I immediately felt at home.
Later, a young man asked me if I had any events lined up! I laughed but he was deadly serious. That was the first time I actually felt I could do this. I’d joined the club mainly to swim better. It did make me think though and I started doing parkrun.
I met a lady at the club who was keen to swim outdoors year-round so we embarked on a winter of swimming off local beaches – often with ice on the sand. I’d found my niche in life amongst like-minded people.
I entered my first super sprint in the autumn. I came last in my age group on a second-hand bike wearing trainers, with jelly legs on the run - but I loved the fun of it.
Since then, I’ve ignored my age and tried to improve. My biggest achievements are full Long Course Weekend in six consecutive years and Ironman Wales three times. I’ve done many daft things like back-to-back middle-distance races (well, with a week in between); ignored advice not to do a marathon before Ironman but the maddest was doing the 70.3 Ironman World Championships then flying back from Nice for Ironman Wales a week later where by some miracle, I was the oldest finisher.
On the airport bus to the plane to Nice I got offered a seat by a lady about 50!! I declined politely whilst my husband jumped to my aid proudly announcing I was off to do an Ironman competition.
I’ve done events where the swim looked like it would be the driest bit of the day; fought gale force winds on the bike with debris strewn on the road and got so cold in a swim that my feet were like blocks of ice even after the run.
On the plus side, I’ve managed to run in boiling hot weather and (on a very rare occasion) recovered in a swim after getting overheated in my wetsuit. I love Titan Brecon especially the bike route and going as fast as I can back towards Brecon on the tri-bars. I never tire of the Ironman Wales bike route with its open skyline and stunning views – though the hills are cruel and for me, getting steeper!
I reflect on past events with fun and laughter and hope to keep “Tri” ing for a bit longer. Of course, I couldn’t do it without huge support from my long-suffering husband/training partner, bike buddies, friends and coaches at the NEWTs who have “Tri” ed to help me in so many ways.