Meet some of our club members
How did you get into triathlon?
In 2017 I had a rough year. My mum and father in law died and I had a second foot operation that didn’t go to plan. So when I had learnt to walk again, saw the consultant and he said that the operation hadn’t gone to plan. He said “Give anything a go . If it hurts don’t do it.” I had not been able to run since breaking my foot originally in 2014. So I decided that life is short and you just need to give things ago. I had watched the London Triathlon a few times and really enjoyed watching it. So decided that it was now or never. I joined up with Kay for swimming in September 2017 as I could only swim a width of front crawl.
Your first race?
The first race was supposed to be Southend Triathlon but the swim was cut short, so ended up being a duathlon. So my first Triathlon was Eton Dorney sprint with Sarah and Mark Robson. It was a non-wetsuit swim (ahh) but I managed to get round. The bike? Well I got stung by a bee while cycling and this is where it all started, I did an extra lap!! Finished the race and felt fantastic, how could I have done three disciples and still be standing?
Personal highlight of the year
One of my highlights was winning the Trifarm Triple crown Leg 2 Age Group winner, having never won anything before this was a miracle and I was totally shocked.
My highlight of 2019 was Holkham Half, this was going to be the biggest race of my life, my nerves were in overdrive. I had to rack my bike the day before and go to the race briefing . I was really concerned with the cut off time as for me it's getting over the line and time is not important. Race day was here, I had so much encouragement from my fellow Havering Tri friends. I was in the last wave. The water was like thick gravy and I panicked, I can’t do this , Spencer had messaged me to say if you panic in the water just do breast stroke. It must have been seconds that the thought goes through your mind and then I was off. Around the race I had encouragement from other members, my husband and spectators. I had worked so hard to get here that I was going to enjoy every moment .The biggest memory will be coming round the corner to the finish line and hearing all Havering Tri shouting my name, priceless. Afterwards I had something to eat, a massage but still did not know my time. I had truly smashed my time 6 hours 39 minutes and 54 seconds.
Race plans for 2020
I have planned quite a few events but the big one is Long Course Wales in July.
You're a member of the London Brompton Club, what is the most craziest thing/place you have been to with your bike?
My husband and I both have Brompton bikes, we have had some great rides. Every Easter we go on an adventure for four days with the club. We have cycled from Bruggee to Amsterdam, carrying all our luggage on the bike as well. This year we are off to France, with a lot more riding involved but it is great fun. Part of the ethos is stopping for tea breaks , lunch breaks and afternoon tea!!
If you could give one piece of valuable advice to a new member of Havering Triathlon Club, what would that be?
My advice is listen to what experienced members tell you. Join as many club rides, runs and join the mentoring scheme. Brett Thake was my mentor and he was a great support all season. Make sure that you have the support from your family, I have been really lucky that Guy my husband has given me so much support. When I had a long bike ride to do, he would come out for some of it to encourage me.
What has changed the most in your life since you took up triathlon and joined HTC?
The biggest turning point for me, was when Mark Birrell had asked all members what their own goals were going to be for the next year. I replied saying that I would like to try and do an Olympic distance. He said why wait I have a place for you, it was that week!!! So feeling that I could not say no, I was in. All the way round on all three disciplines I had club members shouting encouragement. I crossed the line in 3 hours and 34 minutes and felt like superwoman. I realised with the support and the training I could do anything.
Havering Tri has given me the confidence to try and it does not matter if you don’t succeed. I have inspired other people to change their lives, it might be giving up smoking or leaning to swim. As in Harry Potter, help will come when you need it, and this club has not let me down yet.