Starting in January 2009 on the Bondifit Rookie (Beginner) Triathlon course, I decided I preferred the look of the training that the Iron distance guys were doing. What was this Iron distance lark? So I signed up for Busselton Ironman. Still being incredible naïve and a novice in the sport, I completed the Ironman (2009) and decided actually this short fast stuff was much better and more fun. Earlier in 2009, I pretty much got a wild card to compete for Great Britain at the World Championships on The Gold Coast. I finished ninth in my Age Group, in the Sprint distance. This certainly wasn’t a sparkling performance and having only just started in the sport, I really had no idea what I was doing (I think it was my third triathlon ever). In 2010, I competed in the World Championships in Budapest, finishing second (by just 7seconds, not that I knew that at the time of crossing the line)! This was a bit of an eye opener for me, and surprise or confirmation to what I had started to believe I could achieve. It was more special by the fact that I raced on a borrowed bike, as mine had been stolen the day before the race (also my 30th birthday) and also that my whole family had made the trip to come and watch. This race however made me hungry for more. It gave me a belief but more importantly the desire to train harder and an ambition to improve, learn more and strive to become the best athlete I could be.
A year later in 2011, I won Gold in the Sprint distance at the World Championships in Beijing also becoming the fastest female overall. I was World Champion! This was an incredible moment and feeling and one that is secured in my memory forever. Again having my family there to witness it too (this time actually on my birthday) was just an amazing moment. It fuelled again my desire for more and to get better.
It was time to step up to the Olympic distance though and so in 2012 I raced at the World Championships in Auckland over the longer distance. Once again grateful to my parents for making the trip to the southern hemisphere to watch me take the Gold (World Champion title number 2). This kicked off a big year where I went on to win the Noosa Triathlon and Geelong Triathlon in the Open Age Group.
Again though it was time to move up the distance and have a proper crack at the half iron distance and the race, Honu 70.3, in Hawaii. I won my age group and was overall female amateur winner. I actually crossed the line second overall, and on paper was second only to the Professional winner, Belinda Granger! Wow! What a location! What a race! I loved every minute of it! It also meant that I secured my qualification for the 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, in Las Vegas and this now became my focus. In September 2013, I won my age group (by 20minutes) and I became the fastest female amateur at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, finishing 11th overall (again on paper (note: it’s very different racing age group to Pro). It was incredible again, and I just loved every moment of it. Just a week later I returned to the shorter Olympic distance to defend my Olympic distance title in London at the PruHealth World Championships. This was a pretty special moment, if somewhat surreal, as it was my first ever triathlon in the UK; it was on the site of the Olympics; and also again all my family were there to watch me as well as many friends. It was my fourth World Championship title as an Amateur.
In October 2013, I decided that I needed to take my energy and love of this sport to the next level and so I took the decision to turn Professional. In April 2014 I took the bigger leap, resigning from my job in the corporate world and relocating from Sydney to San Francisco with the opportunity to be coached by one of the best in the business, Matt Dixon and join his Purplepatch squad. I was fully focusing my energy and efforts on developing as a full time Professional Triathlete. I stayed with Matt and working with Paul Buick for 6 years, and we had a great few years taking me from that new pro to a 5 x Iron-distance Champion. In 2019 I broke my collar bone and both Matt and I felt it was time for a change, some fresh eyes and a new input into my training and racing.
So at the end of 2019, I was lucky enough to join Julie Dibens and her JDCrew. Dibs is another Brit but who seems to like living in the USA, and this time Boulder. The global pandemic made my first year with Dibs interesting as I ended up back in the UK, staying with my sister, before being able to get back to Spain later in the year and basing myself there since. But more changes in 2023, as I have relocated (semi) to Boulder to work closer with Dibs and train with the JDCrew. I also get to work closely with the cycling specialist, Matt Bottrill too! It’s great to be in Boulder, and to be able to train with a squad for the first time in so many many years in my career. Dibs is an incredible coach, mentor (and friend) and I feel I’ve learnt and developed so much in the past few years working with Dibs, culminating (so far) in two top 10 finishes at the Ironman World Championships in 2022.
I’m now in my tenth (eeeek!) year as a full time Professional Athlete (I still feel like it's about year three, ha ha!), and I have absolutely no regrets. It’s been an incredible journey so far. Adjusting from corporate to athlete, hobby to career, nice salary to… well…
But the challenge still excites me and I still feel so new to the sport, in some ways, and so there is still so much to learn and to improve, and this is what drive and motivates me. How fast can I go? How strong can I be? How good can I get?
I’ve now won four Ironman races, including becoming the three time Champion of Ironman Australia (2017, 2018, 2019), Ironman New Zealand Champion (2018), as well as the ETU European Long Course Champion (2018). I was the fifth fastest British female of all time over the Iron distance (2017/2018). I’ve raced some of the biggest races in the World, World Championships, PTO Races, and also had two 2nd place finishes at Challenge Roth (2017, 2021). And then in 2022 I had two top 10 finishes at the Ironman World Championships, at the age of 42!
I have a fantastic opportunity to follow my passion and I’m fortunate that I get to do what I love every day.
Life is too short to live with regrets. I don’t want to look back in 10year, 20years time and ask myself, “what if?” I want to give this life a go.
Don’t Die Wondering…