Beverley Childs credited her unwavering determination as the fuel behind international gold at the World and European Aquathlon Championships last summer.
The 65-year-old served 38 years in the RAF and has 53 recorded race starts for the Great Britain Age-Group Team throughout an impressive career of sport.
And despite a challenging 2022 that saw her in need of a new hip, Childs looked back on her summer of success with fondness as she once again stood at the top of the podium in Samorin and Bilbao-Bizkaia.
"Standing on that podium was emotional in so many ways because I had a new hip when I was 60 and made a comeback from that," said Childs, who trains under RAF Triathlon. “But then I turned 65 and needed my second hip doing so I just wanted to give this season a go and see if I could get through it.
"So to have the successful season that I have had and getting the golds with a dodgy hip was just really emotional. It's all because I'm pretty stubborn and determined, my pain levels are fairly high, and training has just been about doing what I can with my hip.
"I'm a few months into my new hip now and I'm excited to get training again for next season."
Childs was grateful for her extensive triathlon experience when it came to the Europe Aquathon Championships in Bilbao-Bizkaia last September, managing a strong current by swimming diagonally to put her in a favourable position for the run.
And with a perfect race that secured gold at the Worlds in Samorin a month earlier, Childs continues to outline how impressive her triathlon career really is.
She said: "Bilbao was a very difficult swim because the current was fast, but luckily I knew I had to swim diagonally across the river because of my experience.
"I started the sport within the RAF, I originally swam when I was a kid, and I could always ride a bike but I hated running.
"Rowing was my main sport but triathlon came on the scene in the 80s and I was given the chance to do a tri marathon which was a row, a bike and a run and it all started from there. That was in 1987 and I haven't looked back since.
"I think my favourite memory from an international side was Hamburg in 2007 which was the first time I came fifth, the highest I had ever come.
"That was my turning point year and the start of me consistently finishing in the top numbers."
The GB Age-Group Team provide British Triathlon members with the opportunity to represent Great Britain internationally at World and European Championships in a variety of swim, bike, run disciplines and distances.
Championship racing opportunities are available in triathlon (swim, bike, run), duathlon (run, bike, run), aquathlon (swim, run), aquabike (swim, bike), cross duathlon (cross country run, mountain bike, cross country run) and triathlon (swim, mountain bike, cross country run) and winter duathlon (cross country run, ski, cross country run) and triathlon (cross country ski, mountain bike, run).
Adjusting to her brand-new hip, Childs is already looking ahead to another successful year of doing the sport she loves, with her eyes set on the 2023 World Aquathlon Championships in Ibiza in May.
"I still love competing because of the age group banding, it keeps you competitive against your own peer group," she said.
"Triathlon as a sport is also incredibly friendly, it doesn't matter how competitive you are against your fellow athletes, everyone gets on well. It's just a sport that I feel very comfortable with as it has a lovely atmosphere and it's good to reunite with friends when we race."
Find out more about representing the Great Britain Age-Group Team and competing in British Age-Group Championships on the button below: