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British Triathlon permitted over 1165 events last year. By taking part in a permitted event, you can be sure of a safe, fair and most importantly enjoyable event experience.

#TriLikeMe is a British Triathlon campaign to show that triathlon is for everyone! Through a range of real life stories told by people just like you, we can prove that anyone can do a triathlon including YOU! Click on the stories below to become inspired and use our event search to find a triathlon event near you.

Already involved in triathlon? We want to hear from you! Send us your case study via the form at the bottom of this page and don’t forget to use #TriLikeMe when posting about your triathlon experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

Click on a profile below to find your inspiration...


Elizabeth Whittingham

I decided to set myself the personal challenge a few months ago of completing a triathlon before I hit 50 - which is next year!

The decision to do a triathlon came about whilst watching the Rio Olympics – I rather rashly said to my husband... “I fancy doing a triathlon!” It was the next sentence that set the goal… “In fact, I’m going to do one before I’m 50!”

I joined a local gym (JWC in Holmes Chapel) on a Beginner to Winner programme in August 2017 to start the journey. At the time it felt like I had set a challenge I would never be able achieve. With their support I am fitter, healthier and leaner than I have ever been and in February I completed the entry form for my first Triathlon!!

The cycling is definitely my favourite part, with running being my least favourite. I’ve recently completed my first triathlon, the Cheshire Sprint, and the whole experience was fabulous!! The sense of achievement was immense. Alongside that was the camaraderie. Everyone was so friendly, it was easy to understand the rules and it was superbly run. A fab day.

The memory that will stay with me from the event is turning into the finishing line and knowing I had done it and smashed my time goal by 21 minutes! Next year has been signed up for already – I’m hooked!!

I’m positive that if I can do a triathlon then lots of other people can too! So get out there, give it a go and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeElizabeth in 2018

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Sean Bryan

I got into triathlon having stopped playing rugby and needed a new challenge. A few mates had done triathlons, but my swimming ability stopped me. It also stopped me swimming with my kids on holiday and I wanted that to change.

If you’d told me several years ago that I would enjoy swimming, I would never have believed you. Now I enjoy swimming for the time it gives me to my thoughts. Despite this however, cycling is still my favourite discipline.

Carrying my kids over the line with me when I completed the 2017 AJ Bell London Triathlon event is my top triathlon moment. The main achievement is to cross that finish line and everyone is really supportive, the last person across the line gets the biggest cheer!

To #TriLikeMe just give it a go and find an event to do!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSean in 2018

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Suzie Parsons

Over the past two years I’ve lost a lot of weight - 6 stone so far. My friend Dave encouraged me to go open water swimming and then after my first few sessions he said “you like swimming and cycling - why don’t you enter a triathlon?” I replied that I couldn’t run for love nor money, so he volunteered himself to train me. Most people do couch to 5k. I went from doing absolutely nothing to a sprint triathlon in 8 months!! 

The first triathlon that I entered was a GO TRI at Cannock on 9th April. It was a great event to enter as it gave me an idea of what to expect at the bigger events. I heard about it through a group called New2tri, and while I was there a few people came up to me wishing me luck.

The first main event I did was the Stratford Sprint Triathlon on 29th April. We had gone down the night before and I remember feeling really sick and excited at the same time. I’m surprised that I had any finger nails left I was that nervous. My friend kept telling me ‘you’ll be fine’ and once I got in the pool I was. 

The swim was great, no problem. The bike part was harder but once I got used to whizzing down the hills with enough speed to propel me up the other side I was on a roll – literally! 

Then came the dreaded run. I was waiting for my legs to be taken and given to someone else like they normally are at this point, but no they felt ok. I knew I’d probably be last but I just didn’t care as I was enjoying it and someone has to be so why not me. 

When I finished I looked for my friend but he wasn’t there. I thought that as it was cold he’d be sat in the car. But no. He had been waiting for me at the end of the bike part thinking I was still going when in actual fact I’d finished. I think that was the best compliment that he could give me.

When I finished I was buzzing. The best feeling ever!!  

I’ve recently completed the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon in a time of 1:53:04 - 3mins longer than Stratford, but the distances were a little bit longer, so I actually was faster overall. The weather was glorious even though I prefer to run in the cold. 

My main event for 2018 is the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds 2018. I’ve decided to enter this because my good friend and trainer encouraged me to a knowing it would be a good one to enter. The thought of running along the same blue carpet as the elites is amazing. I keep saying that this must be my midlife crisis. 

The best thing about triathlon is the family that you become part of and the support that you give and are given my everyone involved. I’m part of MVH Tri Club, but the triathlon family crosses all clubs. This helps because it keeps you motivated and keeps you moving around the course. To hear your name being called by the marshals telling you that you are doing well is a phenomenal feeling! 

My advice for someone thinking about giving triathlon a go is just give it a tri and #TriLikeMe! You will enjoy the atmosphere and remember it doesn’t matter how good other people are. You yourself are amazing for tr-ing.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSuzie in 2018

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Matthew Bowers

I was encouraged by my partner to attend the First Steps to Fitness programme at the Everyone Active Westgate Leisure Centre as it is something that she had recently enrolled in. I’d never had an interest in sport or exercise, but after a conversation with my programme mentor, we decided that having a goal to aim for would help….a goal such as taking part in a triathlon!

My initial reaction was intrigue at the suggestion, after all it was something different. Before I committed myself to anything, I had a meeting in which all the details were discussed so I had a proper idea of what I was potentially getting into. I was introduced to Samantha Francis, a Level 2 Triathlon Coach and Personal Trainer and we designed a training programme to meet my needs to compete in the 2018 Natures Way Foods Chichester Sprint Distance Triathlon.

This journey began at the end of 2017, starting at the very beginning and my progress has been amazing! I’ve gone from not taking part in sport, to progressing to 15k on a stationary bike and accomplishing the entire sprint distance run (5km).

One of the memorable sessions was the very first one which involved swimming. I hadn’t swum in years so it was something that I needed to relearn. Trying to breathe with my head underwater did produce an anxiety like response, so I had doubts right from the start. I have been able to make obvious progress with my swimming, as well as the cycling and running, and after the first session my fears of what am I doing were replaced with more positive emotions. 

The Chichester Triathlon is not until Sunday 3 June and we are currently focusing on my swimming, getting to know the triathlon bike route and progressing the bike mileage. We are working to improve my fitness to physically compete, but also focus on practicing transition, preparing for race day, nutrition planning, and my mindset.

For me personally, training for the triathlon has pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me a real aim for which to strive for. I’m not worried what my final time will be as crossing the finish line will be a real achievement in itself. The feeling that my overall health and fitness has improved is great and Samantha’s advice and dedication has been invaluable.

For those people like me who are not sports enthusiasts, I would recommend a triathlon, even if it is a short one, as it helps develop your character and the thrill of completing something like this gives you a sense of achievement that is hard to find anywhere else.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeMatthew in 2018

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Lauren Alcock

What made you take part in Southwell Last year?

I really wanted to take on a challenge that I hadn't done before whilst raising money for charity. I work at Maggie's Nottingham, a charity which provides cancer support based at Nottingham City Hospital. I had previously done a few running events and wanted to do a bit more swimming and cycling so a triathlon seemed perfect.

What made you come back again this year and enter the full series?

I really enjoyed doing the Southwell Sprint Triathlon in 2017. The feeling when I crossed the finish line was amazing! I decided straight after that I wanted to do the Southwell Sprint again as it was really well organised and a great location. I wanted to do something even more challenging this year so I decided to sign up to all three in the Midlands Sprint Series. I'm fundraising for Maggie's again and hoping to raise £500. 

Which section were you looking forward to the most?

The cycle. I enjoy all of the sections but I love being on my bike, especially when the weather is nice! I also love the fact that all the competitors encourage each other during the cycling section and the marshals are all amazing at cheering us on.

Do you have any advice for first time triathletes?

The biggest advice I would give to first time triathletes is to not worry about all the little things like your transitions and drying off after the swim. It all goes smoothly on the day and it's more fun when you just enjoy it. A sprint triathlon is a great event if you've never done one before and it keeps your training varied and interesting. 

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLauren in 2018

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Andrew Clark

I had the opportunity to take part in some of the first triathlons in Scotland in the mid 80's! It's always been a sport I've enjoyed as I have never been brilliant at any one of the disciplines so combining them together I've found I can compete against others. The challenge of three disciplines and mastering the transitions between each is a great part of why I love triathlon. The London Triathlon is definitely one of my favourite events and last year I competed for the charity I work for, ShelterBox, a disaster relief charity based in Cornwall.

The best thing about triathlon is the camaraderie between fellow competitors and the event atmosphere make for a great blend and a fantastic atmosphere. I love competing for charities, the added achievement of giving back is amazing. I know the money I raise is going to make such a difference, as well as helping them raise awareness -  the more awareness we raise the more aid we can provide!

To #TriLikeMe, just give it a go! You will enjoy it! Do it for charity because it makes every aspect of the event that little bit easier and it makes you feel brilliant knowing how much my fundraising helps the charity.

Check out British Triathlon permitted events to #TriLikeAndrew in 2018.

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Jillian Sabourn

I first got into triathlon through volunteering at World Triathlon Series Leeds in 2016. The best part of volunteering was the instant camaraderie and the feeling that I was part of something special. It was such a prestigious international event and the atmosphere was electric in the city centre that day, especially when the Brownlees won in their home town! 

Following this I was inspired to take part in a GO TRI open water taster session at Roundhay Park and then the Xtra Mile Leeds Triathlon there that Summer.  It was terrifying, exhausting and thrilling all at the same time.  I walked much of the run (ridiculous hill to start with!) but managed a sprint finish at the end.

For me the best thing about taking part in triathlon is the sense of elation when it’s done, especially as it means I can do things that younger friends can’t or don’t! Through training for and competing in triathlons, I am able to live a healthy and active lifestyle which gives me something else to focus on other than work and it also means I’ve met lots of new people along the way.  I’m currently training to take part in World Triathlon Series races in Leeds and Bermuda as well as the Morson Salford Triathlon in the Summer.

If you can swim, cycle or run you’re already at least a third of the way there! There’s a great sense of community when training and competing, and a shared sense of joy when you cross the finish line. Age isn’t an issue so get out there and #TriLikeMe.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeJillian in 2018

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Christopher Smith

I used to be a keen runner and cyclist but hadn’t done either for over 10 years when I suffered a serious spinal injury. As part of my rehabilitation I was told that swimming was the best form of exercise for the core muscles, sadly though, I couldn’t swim and even worse I had a fear of deep water. I enrolled on a beginners swim course and to my surprise found that I really enjoyed it, this gave me the stamina to get back on the bike and back out running again.

I eventually (and with a great deal of fear) entered my first triathlon event, The London Triathlon, which also included an open water swim of all things. I enjoyed myself so much that I have now been entering it and other events for the last 10 years - the feeling of being super fit is unbeatable and being fastest in my age group in 2017 wasn’t bad either!

The triathlon community is the best part of being a triathlete. Everyone’s really supportive and are always happy to help each other out and cheer each other on. There are events of every distance, in a pool or open water and you can even do a duathlon (run and cycle) if you don’t fancy the swim.

My advice to anyone looking to #TriLikeMe is don’t put it off, just enter an event, I have never met anyone who has actually regretted taking part in a triathlon. Don’t be frightened to ask for advice, we were all beginners once and there are plenty of people willing to help.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeChristopher in 2018

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Suzy Knights

My first triathlon experience was due to a friend asking me to "do a triathlon" with her. Wanting to be a good friend and after a few glasses of wine I agreed! It wasn't until a few months later that I realised what I had let myself in for.

I was already a gym member when I started my training but only went occasionally and just on a couple of fitness machines. I bought a hybrid bike a few months before the triathlon and used this to cycle to the gym (around 1 mile) and back as well as a bit of cycling on the gym bike. I also taught myself to swim breast stroke, only being able to do a length at a time but slowly building up. The first triathlon I did (as promised) was Fritton Lake Super Sprint, this was an open water swim. I swam the whole thing breast stroke and wasn't last out of the water!

Since that first triathlon the best thing I did was join a local triathlon club. From a personal point of view triathlon has changed my life. I now enjoy my free time and weekends so much. I have an incredible group of friends. I have more energy and my mental health has improved.

If someone like me who was as far from an athlete as you could get, can complete a triathlon anyone can. Just believe in yourself! Set yourself small goals and break it down into achievable steps. Don't worry if you don't always meet them, just keep trying. Also join a club, the support is invaluable. If you are still nervous then why not go along and spectate or even better marshal at an event.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSuzy in 2018

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More #TriLikeMe Stories


Claire Higgins

When I turned 40, my elder brother decided the perfect Birthday present would be to enter me into a triathlon! I had a fear of water and wasn’t a great swimmer, hadn’t ridden a bike since being a child and as for running, well I just didn’t do it! ‘I had four months to train and ‘had to’ prove to him that I could do it! And I did… in 1:44:55!

I accepted the 40th Birthday present, took on the challenge, completed it, but wasn’t hooked. The swimming costume went away and so did the bike, but I found I quite liked to run, so I continued to run on my own for a while before joining a local running club.

I met some amazing people being part of the running club, who encouraged me to try triathlon again, so I also joined the local Tri Bramley Baths Group for more swim practice – this was when I became hooked! It was great fun and something I could do with some amazing friends I’d met along the way. My ultimate aim being to do the Driffield Triathlon again, and enjoy it … I did it!

Taking part in Triathlon has been an amazing roller coaster of a journey.  I’ve had ups and downs with injuries and illness, but it’s not stopped me wanting to continue.

I’ve also recently completed the British Triathlon Activators Course and am booked on the level 1 Triathlon Coaching Course in September 2017.  I love the fact that I can give something back to someone else and hopefully encourage others to #TriLikeMe and take up what is such a fantastic sporting activity.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeClaire in 2018

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Sam Holness

Being a triathlete for someone with Autism is very challenging, but I love the sport because it brings together the best of me, it draws together my strongest sporting skills, swimming, cycling and running, empowering me to be the best I can. I’ve always been a good swimmer and in recent years have joined a running club, but cycling was something I just did for fun. After seeing a triathlon on TV I decided to give it a go and put the three together and ever since I’ve been hooked!

I do triathlons for fun, to compete and because I want to be the first person with Autism from a Black Ethnic Minority background to qualify for the Paralympics or the Olympics.

Everyone needs something that makes them feel good about themselves, something that they can do.  For me it is triathlons. Sport has helped me to build my confidence and improve my social and communications skills. It has taken me places that I never thought possible, giving me belief that I can achieve and that I should continue to aspire.

To #TriLikeMe please just give it a try, it’s the best sport ever!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSam in 2018

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Laura Housden

Being a dietitian, you are expected to be quite fit and healthy and I was, when I was younger I swam twice a week. I haven’t swum or cycled a lot since then and that was ten years ago!

My resolution for 2017 was complete a sprint triathlon after speaking to one of my patients who competed at quite a high level. I bit the bullet and in February booked on to the sprint triathlon in St Neots. It was open water, so I braved the Tri20 lake near Reading over the summer and although I found it scary at first, but I soon began I enjoyed it. As a pool swimmer it took time to get use to not seeing anything!

I completed the St Neots Sprint Distance Triathlon in 1 hour and 44 minutes. I am planning on doing another one next year to help me keep up with the swimming.

My advice to anyone looking #TriLikeMe is to give it a go and not be put off by the equipment. I used my hybrid bike, purchased the cheapest wetsuit I could find and found some running shorts in the sales.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLaura in 2018

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Rachel Carey

Here Rachel shares her story on recovery after major surgery for Crohn’s Disease.

I’ve always been relatively fit and enjoyed exercising. After I had 2 major operations for Crohn’s Disease ended up with my needing a stoma bag, I started to gain weight from the medication I was taking and became determined to lose the weight. I had to adapt how I stayed fit as I was recovering from major surgery and in the long term as I had developed a hernia during the first operation which meant that I had to be careful with some abdominal exercises to prevent another one forming.

During my post-operative recovery, I started jogging. I also started to swim more than I had before. Jogging and Swimming are considered low resistance forms of exercise which is perfect for someone who is recovering from surgery.

I wanted to sign up for an event which would provide me with motivation. This is when I discover GO TRI. I found a local event near me and I quickly registered to enter. The event I took part in was an aquathlon which involves swimming and running, the two disciplines which I had been doing during my recovery. I hadn’t found anything else that just focused on swimming and running so I was thrilled. Get out there and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeRachel in 2018

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Ross Bennett

About a year ago I started a new job, which saw me commuting on the tube for well over an hour each way, every day. I decided to try and make the journey more worthwhile and picked up a cheap second-hand bike and began cycling to work. I also joined a gym and began running on the treadmills during my lunch break.

As this became my daily routine and my fitness improved, I considered taking on a challenge and thought to myself – I'm running and cycling, maybe I should give triathlon a go and signed up for GO TRI Woking.

I got to the start line and set myself a target time, a time that I managed to beat by a couple of minutes. I kept training and did a few sprint triathlons.

After training through the winter, I recently completed my first Olympic distance and open water triathlons and Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh! It's quite incredible to think that a year ago I'd never tried triathlon and am now thinking about kicking on and trying a full Ironman in the next couple of years. Triathlon season is approaching, so #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeRoss in 2018

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Claire Hill

While away for my 40th birthday girly weekend with two of my closest friends, we were discussing the fact that I needed some challenges in my life.  I was given a copy of a triathlon magazine to go through.

When I took part in my events they were reaching the end of the season locally, but I haven’t been disheartened by this fact as I am now using my spare time to build up my fitness in running. I even went out and brought myself a new road bike which I started cycling the 15-mile round trip to and from work.

I am looking forward to 2018 because I can compete in more GO TRI events throughout the year with the hope that by the end of the year I could feel confident enough to complete a sprint triathlon.

To #TriLikeMe my advice to you is go for it. I had never been a runner but decided to give it a go one day and I have never been so pleased. I’m not looking back now, I’m looking forward to 2018.

Check out British Triathlon permitted events to #TriLikeClaire in 2018.

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