When Megan Richter lined-up on the start line of the British Paraduathlon Championships in 2018, it was her first experience of multisport. In the four years since, the international swimmer has become a world and multiple European medallist in para-swimming and is now enjoying her latest sporting challenge in paratriathlon.
It’s a sport she first took-up in 2017 after seeing an advert for a talent ID day, but, having initially focused on swimming, the 21-year-old’s focus is now on paratriathlon.
“After I started getting into paratriathlon, I decided to mainly focus on swimming for the next few years, doing a bit of triathlon on the side, but since 2020 I’ve decided to make triathlon my priority,” Richter explained.
“My favourite part about triathlon is the vast range of different training you can include in your programme. Just for running, for example, you can do road, track, and trail, it really keeps it interesting, and it makes a change from going up and down a pool all week.”
Alongside her success in the pool, Richter, who competes in the PTS4 category, has already won medals in paratriathlon having become British champion at the British Paraduathlon Championships in 2018. Later that year, Richter represented Great Britain in paratriathlon for the first time, claiming PTS4 gold at Paratriathlon World Cup Funchal, where she finished ahead of the entire classification above.
Now focused on paratriathlon, and having had more race experience, Richter will put her development to the test when she heads back to the Championships where it all started across the run, bike, run format.
“It was in 2018 at the Paraduathlon Championships where I had my first racing experience within paratriathlon,” Richter said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was pretty fit from swimming training but there are lots of technical things I have developed since, such as using cleats and having a more aero position on the bike.
“Heading into this year’s event, I’d like to look at holding the power and pace I want to hold in triathlon races later in the season, or maybe a bit higher. It’s shorter distances than we’re used to, being a super sprint, so it’ll be good to get a feel of race pace.”
Not only is this year’s British Paraduathlon Championships, which is being held on Sunday (3 April) at Prestwold Hall, a chance for Great Britain’s paratriathletes to start the year by being crowned British champion, it’s also the first race of the British Triathlon Paratri Super Series.
As well as competing at the UK’s domestic events, Richter is also hoping to get the chance to return to international competition in 2022.
“I’d definitely like to do as many of the Super Series races as I can,” Richter commented. “I’d like to look towards selection for three international races to put me in a strong position to get race starts when the qualification window opens for Paris next summer.
“I’m just going to keep trying to have fun and doing the best I can.”
2022 looks set to be a big year for Richter, not only because of her paratriathlon ambitions, but the University of Sheffield student is also in the final year of her biomedical science degree.
“I’ve actually found balancing studies and sport a lot easier than I did at school,” Richter said. “The work is a lot more flexible and it’s easy to catch up anything I miss by watching it online later in the day. Sometimes it gets a bit tricky around exam periods, but training is normally a nice distraction.”