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My tri journey; mastering those skinny wheels

I joined Taff Ely Triathlon (TET) club in 2013 aged 43, being introduced to it by my partner who was already a member. I completed my first triathlon; Pencoed super sprint that summer and loved it. Over the subsequent two years I have completed sprint and Olympic distances, pool and open water based events and this summer will attempt my first middle distance event in the Cotswold's along with numerous club members. My goal is to train consistently and compete in Iron Man Frankfurt alongside my club mates in 2017.

I entered triathlon looking for a new challenge and an activity to share with my partner. I had a short running history, 3 years, and had previously been a club swimmer in my youth, which really was a long time ago! Cycling was my hurdle to conquer. I borrowed a 15 year old bike from my sister and set out to master those skinny wheels. It was a challenge without doubt and still remains my Achilles heel out of the three disciplines.

When I started with TET, there was one female coach (Helen Colley) in the club. I was lucky enough to be coached in her swim sessions. She just got me and my train of thought. She could explain things and I understood. There were only a few ladies in the club at that time and I drew inspiration from her and another team member Vicky Jones. I saw them as role models and still do today. They participated in various events, were extremely successful, and are both Iron men.

Triathlon can seem an intimidating place when you’re new, nervous and self-conscious about your abilities and appearance, but I found the club welcoming and very supportive. I was intimidated by the burly boys and their banter but actually, it was their humour, support and encouragement that ended up making it so enjoyable. I learnt so much from their accumulative years of experience, the stories and tales that are told, and thankfully they are all happy to tell me how to do it right!

The club coaches recognised the need for more coaches, especially female ones and I was approached by the head coach, Edward Morgan, who planted the seed about becoming a coach. As I still considered myself new to triathlon, I didn’t feel I could step into that role. However months passed and I thought ‘yep, I can do this!’ I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, injuries and successes, small and large. I also recognise the need for more female coaches and welcomed the chance to coach and give back to others.

I successfully completed my level 1 British triathlon coaching course in October 2015 with the help, guidance and support from the club coaches and I currently assist Louis Adams (level 2) in coaching in the Merthyr class.

I love it!

The Objectives

This story supports the following 2026 objectives:

Get 75% of young people and young adults hooked on sport

Get 75% of young people and young adults hooked on sport

Positively target the participation gap within inequality

Positively target the participation gap within inequality