"I'm proof that GO TRI can take you anywhere"

Swimming person Cycling person Running person

Share to:

From GO TRI to Bermuda

Just under two years ago I was sitting in an Italian restaurant in Leeds, drinking my fourth glass of wine. I was contemplating my 49th birthday. Before my triathlon endeavours, I only did yoga so that was a big difference to triathlon, but I found myself saying to my friend Sue, ‘Yeah we can do a triathlon’. I promised myself that if I was still taking on triathlons four months down the line, I would buy myself some real running shoes.

The biggest contributory factor to pursuing my new hobby was the GO TRI programme. Leeds offers a great variety of training and events for amateurs which are a superb bonus for an already sporting city.

I started with a GO TRI lake tasting session at Roundhay Park in the Summer where I was taught about how to put on a wetsuit, swim in open water and not be freaked out by pondweed or swans. I was expected to be intimidated by the ‘sporty types’ but that wasn’t the case at all. The coaches were so friendly and covered the basics while most of the other participants were as new and nervous as I was. After the day had finished, I felt like I had achieved something.

That October, I had entered my first GO TRI event in Skipton with my training partner in tow. I learned quickly that sitting down in transition to stop and dry my feet before the bike wasn’t the best idea for speed in a race, but I was elated at the finish line and I realised I had got the bug. I earned the reward of a real pair of running shoes.

My next big motivation was the GO TRI 8-week course, again run by Leeds City Council and British Triathlon. We learned the techniques needed for a successful triathlon. Fiona, the British Triathlon coach, was great and explained that the course was not trying to find the next Olympians but to help people find a healthier lifestyle. The GO TRI programme was amazing because it was completely free for participants and the coaching was top notch.

Over the Spring and Summer 2017, I completed a few more GO TRI events, usually coming two thirds in the field, although I did come third in one held by my local leisure centre.

When the World Triathlon Leeds 2017 came to the city, I was ready. Armed with my new wetsuit, cheap flip flops (to leave behind) and my family in tow, I took to the course. About two minutes in, I started gasping for breath. I thought I would have to be rescued as I had built up all this excitement and realised that I had run out of steam.

I considered pulling out of the race but then a voice in my head told me not to quit. I could be last but at least I still finished. I cycled and ran at my own pace to catch my breath and ran up to Millennium square. I felt so high on adrenaline which made me realise that I wanted to do it again.

Fast forward to 2018, I signed up for WTS Leeds again, whilst using the GO TRI events as training. My main goal is to be slightly faster than list time. After using a code for 10% off, I entered the British Triathlon prize draw to win a trip to the WTS Bermuda. To my shock, I had won the top prize. I had gone from a 10-week training plan to a 4 week state of shock, panic and excitement.

So that’s where I am. I have just completed the GO TRI at Bramley Baths and a GO TRI Aquathlon at Leeds University. I travelled to Bermuda and did my best and loved every minute.

I am proof that GO TRI can take you anywhere.

Interested in taking on a GO TRI activity or event? You can find them in our What's On section.