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Insurance is just one of many Home Nation Membership benefits, but means you can train and race with confidence all year round!

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...


Marius Pelser

My 2019 triathlon challenge is to complete my first middle distance, with Outlaw Half Nottingham as the target! I’m nervous and excited; don’t know what to expect on the day, but with my club mates racing as well I know I won’t be alone out there. It’s been a tough route to get here, but one that has taught be a lot. Back in 2016  I would regularly wake up with a level of fear I had never experienced before. Constantly checking everything around me and struggling to face everyday activities, I met with a psychologist who confirmed that I had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I’d discovered the world of running earlier that year. Initially as a way of losing weight and wanting to make a change, I soon noticed that after running I felt better, slept better and that my mood was generally better. After being diagnosed with PTSD, I decided to up my effort level and commit into running – completing 5ks, 10ks and then two half marathons! My next challenge? A triathlon!

I entered the Edinburgh New Year’s Day Triathlon and with my family there to support me, all I wanted to do was finish – and I did! I finished exhausted, smiling and eager to do it all over again. In much need of some friendly advice I sought out my local club, who made me feel so so welcome. I’ve come to realise that triathletes are  such friendly people. They help each other out, give advice and essentially just have nice days out with each other alongside a bit of racing.

Triathlon has not only changed my weight and waist size; it has also made me mentally stronger. I can face every challenge and, if it doesn’t go to plan, I know that I can learn from the experience and try again in the future. It is a principle that I now apply in my personal and business life.

I still get days where I feel black clouds gathering above my head and I would rather sit in a corner than go out and train. I can now also face 70% of these days and say, all I need to do is take that first step, pedal or stroke. The rest will follow no matter how fast, slow and difficult it feels. When I am done my smile is back and I am ready to face another day.

For information on how physical activity can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, please see our article with Hannah Brooks, British Triathlon’s performance psychologist from the English Institute of Sport. To find out how access mental health support and services in your local area, click here to view NHS advice and further links.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeMarius in 2019

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Becky Shaw

I’ve been a keen swimmer since I was a child and got heavily into cycling throughout 2018. I started 2019 with a few bike problems, so decided to start running as a good way to keep fit and found that I actually enjoyed it! Having found an enjoyment of the three disciplines, my partner suggested that I put them together and give triathlon a go!

This time last year I was waiting for a heart procedure to help correct some arrythmia issues, however I thankfully didn’t end up needing an operation I’m sure alternations in my diet and level of fitness has brought me a new lease of life and want to raise money for the charity that has supported me. I’ve entered the Taunton Deane Triathlon, and although I’m sure I’ll be nervous on the start line, I can’t wait!

My aim in entering is simply to complete, rather than compete. It’s the personal challenge and enjoying it that I’m looking forward to, so #TriLikeMe and get involved with triathlon!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeBecky in 2019

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Andy Lander

I’d competed in endurance events, but after two hip replacements I was finding it hard to recover from these demanding events. Being an ex-paratrooper and needing to push myself, I decided that triathlon was the thing for me. I found a local event and entered! Being able to race in age categories is one of my favourite things about triathlon, because you’re racing against a level playing field. I’m 62 so can’t quite race those twenty-somethings.

It was a whole new experience for me and although my goggles filled up on the swim, I found the cycle great (if a bit long) and entered transition feeling I’d done well. When I crossed the finish line after the run I had a real sense of achievement and knew that this was the sport for me. My favourite event of 2018 was the Warwickshire Triathlon where I came 4th in my age group! It was a cold day, but thoroughly enjoyable!

For 2019 I’m planning on going back to the Warwickshire Triathlon, as well as racing the Birmingham Triathlon and some local duathlons. My advice is to not just think about it, but to do it! You’ll have a great time and triathletes are a great group of people who will give you bags of encouragement no matter your ability. Being there is what counts, so #TriLikeMe and find your event.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAndy in 2019

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Giles Chesher

I first got into triathlon when a golfing buddy of mine told me he was doing one. I was feeling a bit fat, so decided to give the Super Sprint a go! Super Sprint is a great distance to get into triathlon with, then you can either stay there or give longer distances a go.

I was nervous at the beginning of the race because it was first ever open water swim – my wife was 8 months pregnant, so that may have had something to do with it too! I felt good across the course, however having only done 6 weeks of training, I was quite tired at the end. Now however, I’m a keen (super keen) triathlete, who loves getting his hands on new kit to train and race with.

I only did one event in 2018 which was the Wilmslow Triathlon. I beat my (much) younger colleague by 11 minutes, which felt pretty good! For 2019 I’m planning to do a few sprint triathlons throughout the year but haven’t decided which events to enter yet.

A lot of people say, “I couldn’t do the swim”. My tip for someone wanting to #TriLikeMe is to find a pool swim triathlon. It’s 400m and you can do breaststroke or front crawl, so with a bit of training you can do it!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeGiles in 2019

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Diane Brown

In 2016, I’d become really unfit and was out of shape. I was overweight, drinking too much and suffering a lot of stress at work and I came to realise that I really missed triathlon and the energy for life it had given me. I was determined to get back into triathlon!

Having rediscovered my love for the sport, I just wanted to keep improving. I decided to tackle my weight again. Between September 2015 and May 2017, I lost 2 and a half stone, this was fuelled by my desire to grow faster in the races.

In July 2017, I was on the start line for the inaugural Edinburgh 70.3 IRONMAN. It was a tough race and many people dropped out during the swim or didn’t managed to finish the bike discipline in time. I managed to finish my race in 7 hours and 49 minutes. Words cannot describe how happy I am to have regained my fitness, health and even identity. So #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeDiane in 2019

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Lynn Munro

Triathlon was on my bucket list and the GO TRI Prudhoe organised by Castle Tri helped me realise my love for the sport! Since starting off with a GO TRI, British Triathlon’s introduction to triathlon programme, I’ve moved on to compete in sprint distance triathlons. I completed the swim in about 40minutes by swimming breaststroke, but off the back of the event decided to master front crawl!

2018 was my 65th Birthday Challenge year; a year ‘outside of my comfort zone’ which saw me entering events I never though I could. What a year it turned out to be…

I finished 2nd in my age category at the Ashington Triathlon and off the back of this success, decided to give the Northumberland Tri a go in the beautiful Ladyburn Lake. My next event was the GO TRI at AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds, where I met Louise Minchin who had encouraged me to give triathlon a go when I’d met her a few years before.

The highlight of my year was at the Woodhorn Museum Triathlon in July. I knew it was a British Championship, I just didn’t realise that I was entered into the Championship as a British Triathlon Member. It was really daunting, with lots of competitors in GB Age-Group kit, but I managed to come second in my age group; doing an undignified dance on the podium to the cheers of my friends! I was so proud to receive my medal whilst sporting the colours of Tri Northumberland.

2019 holds a few different races at the moment, including the British Sprint Championship at Accenture World Triathlon Nottingham and the Hertfordshire Sprint Triathlon.

I’m now 66 and can’t believe how much I love competing! I may be slow and at the back, but I’ve never given up. Some days my arthritis is more painful, but then I just go out on the bike or for a swim. I love every minute of it, it’s been the most fun I’ve had. #TriLikeMe and you’ll love it too!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLynn in 2019

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Nick Dinsdale

I’ve always been a duathlete simply because I couldn’t swim, and this led to me entering the Triathlon England National Duathlon Championships at the Ashridge Duathlon, where I took the silver medal in the 65-69 age category. I was elated at this result because I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in March 2018. I took part in the Ashridge Duathlon despite not having run more than 5km in one go in the preceding four months; and having recently completed chemotherapy it was a big challenge. Despite completing chemotherapy, I was still on hormone therapy which had led to me feeling very tired due to the depletion of testosterone (which fuels the cancer). I wanted to compete in the Championships knowing that I was about to start two months of intensive radiotherapy in mid-February 2019.

The best thing for me about taking part in events is the challenge and satisfaction of taking on the event and crossing that finish line! There’s such a buzz around events that everyone should experience and great camaraderie amongst competitors, marshals and officials, and this was something that I didn’t want to give up. I continued to train and race at short events throughout my treatment; and the positive mental benefits, as well as physical benefits, really helped me during my chemotherapy. Whilst on chemotherapy, I decided to learn to swim and completed two sprint triathlons with my daughters whilst still undergoing treatment.

Appropriate events are achievable regardless of age, experience, fitness level or in my case health condition, but you should check with your doctor that you are ok to take part before throwing yourself in!  All events are a worthwhile challenge, so #TriLikeMe and get out there

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeNick in 2019

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Paige Mcleod

My grandma plays a massive role in organising events and volunteering in triathlon, so I’ve grown up in and amongst it and have been taking part since I was in primary school. I love being involved in triathlon and seeing people progress and enjoy the sport as much as I do! I’m a serial volunteer – I coach, I’m my club’s junior coordinator and organiser of junior and senior events.

I’ve competed up to Age Group level and won silver in the ITU Standard Duathlon in 2018. The key reason for me volunteering is to return the favour that so many have afforded to me over the years when I race. I’ve volunteered at loads of events, but for me my highlight was at our junior event because there were so many children competing from different backgrounds and all enjoying the sport. It was fantastic to see so many children getting involved in a sport that has given me so much joy over the years, knowing that they will have great opportunities to compete and train as they grow and develop.

If you want to #TriLikeMe and see people progress in such a great sport, then find your local event and volunteer. You never know which future star you may be supporting!

Use our volunteer opportunity search to #TriLikePaige and volunteer at an event near you.

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Oliver Pritchard

I was born deaf and have to wear a cochlear implant to hear anything. I stumbled into the world of triathlon a few years ago, when a really good friend and her family were coming to visit. They’d signed up to race the Guildford Triathlon whilst they were visiting, and I thought why not give it a go too? I came second and had so much fun doing it!

I haven’t looked back since, competing in the standard distance race (1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run) at Arundel in 2018, then finding out that I’d qualified for the 2019 European Championships in Weert! I was over the moon to qualify and it was great to know my deafness hadn’t held me back.

I can’t wear my cochlear implants for swimming, so I usually do the whole race without hearing a single thing. It’s been a real challenge, but I wanted to prove people wrong and build awareness around deafness and disabilities in sport. Triathlon is a great place to do this because it’s very inclusive, so I really want to help promote it, especially to deaf people.

My aim is to turn professional once I’ve finished studying, but most people just take part for fun. Find an event, get involved and #TriLikeMe! You don’t know what you can do until you’ve done it

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeOliver in 2019

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Camilla Porter

I’ve struggled with my weight nearly all my life, and at the end of 2015, I decided that I needed to make a big change to my life. Over the following year I managed to lose 6 stone and having committed to keeping my weight down and finding a love fitness, I wanted a challenge!

That challenge came in the form of the Windsor Sprint Triathlon in 2018. Windsor was a massive game changer for me, helping me to realise that I could do more than I thought. I was absolutely terrified in the days and hours leading up to it, questioning what I’d got myself in for. I had a really good swim and the bike leg went pretty well too, but the run was a real challenge. My friends surprised me along the course; as I came round the final bend on the cycle there they were cheering me on – I honestly felt like I was about to cry! They made the difference in me getting through the tough run by spreading themselves along the route to get me to the line. That feeling of crossing the finish line felt like my biggest achievement!

I’ve also just competed in the age group sprint race at Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, which was an amazing experience! When I first heard about World Series events I was worried because I thought that it was only for the seasoned pro, so was extremely relieved to be surrounded by all sorts of people, including a lot of competitors racing their first ever triathlon! Being able to race and watch elite athletes all at the same venue was really exciting, the buzz and atmosphere around the event village was like nothing I’d experienced before.

The highlight of the race had to be the cycle route, which began on the Yas Marina Grand Prix racecourse, and quickly felt like one of those moments I'd never forget. The Abu Dhabi heat was most noticeable on the run, but I was pleased to finish the event 8 minutes faster than my first triathlon in Windsor last year. 

I'll never be the strongest swimmer or the fastest cyclist or runner, but pushing myself in races like these makse me realise that I'm more capable than I often believe. Just a few years ago I was 6 stone heavier and would get out of breath running up the stairs, so experiences like this really show how much has changed for me, and I hope I can show that if I can do it, anyone can! I never expected to love triathlon quite as much as I do, but that feeling of crossing the finish line is unbelievable, so get out there and #TriLikeMe

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeCamilla in 2019

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Brian Grierson

My background is that of cycling and I first got into multisport through taking part in a duathlon (run, cycle, run). I was apprehensive before the race but was very pleased with the way I finished the final run, and much to my surprise I came first in my age category!

I’ve had prostate cancer since I was 62 and my local hospital has kept me going and I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy. My diagnosis hasn’t stopped me however and I’m convinced that staying involved in triathlon has kept me ‘up for the fight’! My target for 2018 was the ETU Sprint Championships in Glasgow where I came 7th in my age group. As well as the European Championships, I also took part in the Triathlon England National Sprint Championships at Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon where I took the silver medal in the 75-79 age category!

For me the best thing about triathlon is the feeling of satisfaction when the swim, bike and run all come together, and you know you’ve given it your best. You also get to meet great fellow triathletes and make good friends along the way. You may find that you have a natural flare for triathlon, but even if you don’t, it’s well worth the challenge. Triathlon has held its grip on me for 30 years and I hope it does the same for you. #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeBrian in 2019

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Rachel Stephens

The first triathlon I did was back in 2014. I couldn’t swim and was scared of water but decided that enough was enough! It was time to swim! I did the whole 400m swim doggie paddle style and after 39mins emerged from the water, I’d done it, I’d completed the swim. I took a couple of seconds to compose myself and then ran with all my strength to collect my bike (mountain bike, not a fancy road bike) from transition.

Having collected my bike, and fallen in love with what I was doing, I set off onto the bike course. My body hurt, but I was enjoying it so much and ended up being the second fastest female on the bike leg! It took me a few hundred yards of the run to get into the running groove, but a smile soon appeared on my face as I made my way around and spotting my family cheering me on from the side was a phenomenal support. Before I knew it I was at the finish line and had completed my first triathlon, what a feeling.

I am now in my 4th year of competing in triathlons and last year I won the INTOTRI Cornish Tri Series. My swimming PB for 400m is now 8mins 23sec, 31 minutes faster than where I started. I started off challenging myself to start swimming and now I challenge myself to go faster. That’s what triathlon is, a personal challenge, set yourself a goal and away you go! I’m now a swimmer, but more than that, I’m a triathlete!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeRachel in 2019

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More #TriLikeMe Stories


Andy Loveless

I have always loved taking part in trail running and a friend suggested that I give triathlon a go. After a few turbulent years with mental health issues I went for it! I entered the Race to the Bill Sprint Triathlon and loved every minute. Having been ill I couldn’t compete at the front, however I was determined to complete the course and I wasn’t last!

My favourite event of 2018 was the Langport Triathlon. It was a lovely course and was such a well organised event, that it was an enjoyable experience from start to finish. For me the best thing about being a triathlete is the kudos that is attached to it! Knowing you’ve completed a triathlon and being able to tell other people about it is great!

Having started off with sprint triathlons, I’m now moving up to standard distance triathlons and will be competing in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Weymouth in September. Sprint triathlons are a great way to get involved in triathlon and from there, it’s up to you whether you go longer. My top tip is to just go for it!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAndy in 2019

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Anthony Sale

I first got into triathlon as a challenge with some guys from work. We set ourselves the challenge to do one before we were 40 and I did my first in 2011 when I was 41 years old, and they were 39.

I’m part of a local tri club and I really enjoy the training because the camaraderie around the club is great and having three disciplines to train on gives some great variety. Training in a club is really helpful. You have access to lots of coaches and advice, and we all really encourage each other.

I completed the Outlaw Half Holkham in July 2018 and absolutely loved it was an awesome event! Because it is such a large event, around 1,500 competitors, there is a real atmosphere and buzz. The organisation and marshalling was fantastic allowing you to just get on with racing. The race itself was extremely challenging, the bike was quite windy and the run is very hilly, but I enjoyed every minute of. The whole challenge of the event was just great.

If you haven’t done a triathlon before, my advice is don’t be scared because although it will be hard you will feel awesome! #TriLikeMe and prepare to be addicted, you’ll surprise yourself.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAnthony in 2019

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Sarah John

The first triathlon I entered was the Saundersfoot Sprint Triathlon in September 2018. I remember feeling nervous at the start, but it was a nervous excitement to get started! I found the whole event experience exhilarating and really enjoyed the racing because you’re there with so many other people all striving to reach the same end goal! Once I’d achieved that goal and crossed the finish line I was extremely proud and emotional – I’d done it!

My 2018 may be over now, but I’ve already booked myself onto two sprint triathlons and a long course event for 2019. I’m aiming for the IRONMAN Wales in 2020, so am planning my 2019 races to help prepare my body get me ready for it! My advice would be that no matter what your reasoning for giving triathlon a go you won’t regret it!

Triathlon’s a really friendly sport and the people you meet are why I love the sport so much. Everyone is there to encourage you and help you, the officials, the volunteers and especially other competitors. Whether it’s to get fit, try something new, tick something off your bucket list or whatever else it may be, just get out and do it!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSarah in 2019

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Harvey and Shaun Stevens

Harvey did his first triathlon in 2016 aged 7, and older brother Shaun took part in his first triathlon at AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds in 2018 having got fed up of watching his brother! Both boys have competed at different events and love the York Triathlon as it’s our home event.

Shaun is a keen distance runner who cycles for miles every day and has really enjoyed getting into triathlon; he loved Skipton because the hill on the bike route plays to his strengths. He finds the swim a weak point however, which just goes to show you can enjoy something without being great at the whole thing. Despite this however he has really fitted in to the world of triathlon well and is loving it, I guess finishing in the top 3 for two of his events helps! He’s working on his swimming and knows that with every event and training session he is getting better and better.

As a member of Northern Ballet and York Dance Scholars, Harvey is getting stronger through all his rehearsals and this is strengthening his body to be stronger across the triathlon course. He loves the buzz of triathlon with each discipline bringing something different for him to challenge himself with, the feeling he gets as he cross the finish line is what makes the whole experience worth it for him. The atmosphere at the Castle Howard Triathlon is one that he really enjoys because there’s a real excitement around the event!

My advice for anyone wanting to get into triathlon (and the advice I gave my sons) is to not worry about your position at any point of the race, just do your best and have fun! So go on, get out and give it a go. - Alison (a.k.a mum)

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeBrothers in 2019

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Emma Shallcross

Since I was 9 I’ve always been into swimming, but after university I wanted a more physical challenge! My local gym started offering GO TRI sessions, so I decided I’d go along and give it a go. The sessions were great for beginners and often covered 2 out of the 3 sports in one session. We would do a watt bike set and then go on the treadmill or start with a swim set and jump onto the bikes on poolside. It’s been a great journey and really rewarding to see my progress in fitness over the last 3 years. Once I had the basic experience of each discipline it was a matter of becoming more confident to push the limits for each one. I’m excited to race for Great Britain and thankful for the GO TRI sessions to open up such an opportunity!

Technically my first official triathlon was whilst I was in primary school at the Sefton Triathlon, but since getting into triathlon through GO TRI I’ve gone on to complete around 15 triathlons across England, Wales and Spain. I don’t think I’d have got into the sport as much as I have done since the GO TRI sessions as it led me to find out more about British Triathlon and becoming a member. Now I like to race all over the country and train with different groups of athletes.

My first senior race was the Carmarthenshire Triathlon in South Wales in 2015. I felt so nervous getting into the water at the start, but as soon as the gun went I was overwhelmed with excitement. Whilst out on the course I had a mix of emotions from wanting to be competitive, to also wanting to enjoy the atmosphere and the fun of the day. Once I crossed the finish line it was such a great feeling and that sense of achievement is one that I feel every time I cross a finish line!

The best thing about triathlon is that life is never boring! You can choose between swimming, cycling or running when you’re training, whether you go for a hard session or just take it easy, whether you do it with friends or on your own, even whether you choose a local event or take part in one abroad, it’s great! The fact that it keeps you physically and mentally healthy is the added bonus too.

I’m looking forward to the 2019 ITU Sprint Distance Qualifier at Redcar, as well as the Wirral Triathlon. I’m also super excited to compete at the ETU Aquathlon Championships in Ibiza where I’ll be representing Great Britain as an age-group athlete for the first time!

My advice to someone who hasn’t given triathlon a go is find a GO TRI event as an entry level opportunity and be confident that your body is a lot more resilient than you expect. Don’t feel under pressure to be great at all three disciplines, everyone has a weak sport and that’s what makes the sport open to so many people. #TriLikeMe and just do it!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeEmma in 2019

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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 2019

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Rosie Davies

I first got into triathlon when I joined the University of Birmingham. I’d previously been a fencer, but decided I wanted to try something else and I was hooked. My first race was the BUCS Sprint Championships, closely followed by the Standard Distance Champs a few weeks later. When I crossed the finish lines it was so cool to be able to say that I’d completed a triathlon!

I was super nervous at the standard event because it was open water. I was almost the last one out of the water and tripped and tore a hole in the wetsuit I’d borrowed from a friend, so not the best start. But I loved being out on the bike and then catching and overtaking people on the run. That’s a great thing about triathlon, there are one, two or three different aspects that you can be good at!

My best event experience was taking a dream, and turning it into a goal, and then a reality when I crossed the finish line of Ironman New Zealand in 2016. Being able to collapse into the arms of my boyfriend and then getting back in time to watch my cousin finish the race on his 4th attempt made me so proud of all of us.

Definitely tri before you buy, borrow a bike, wetsuit or whatever you need – just #TriLikeMe and give it a go!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeRosie in 2019

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AJ Brewster

I am not a triathlete! Jonny and Alistair Brownlee are triathletes, I just love the fact that it’s a physical competition that is built for everyone and anyone regardless of your ability, equipment or age. For me the best bit is simply taking part and encouraging others to never give up, whilst testing yourself that extra bit more each time.

I haven’t done a triathlon since 2014 due to injury, but after 4 years of recovery I’m ready to get back out there and compete! The York Sprint Tri 2018 is all about getting back into it slowly, remembering my discipline and making sure I enjoy it. My wife will however correct me and know that once the adrenaline of race day kicks in, I will go as hard as I can. My aim is to compete in another 70.3 an international one this time, but shhh it’s a secret!

The only person you are racing against is yourself so don’t worry about all the other people, they’re all racing their own race too. It’s all about enjoying the atmosphere and never giving up, walk if you want to and smile when you cross the finish line. When you cross the line you’ll know you can complete a triathlon and will be thirsty for the next one, so give it a go and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAJ in 2019

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Trish Deykin

I started triathlons in 2002, before I knew I had MS. I remember feeling very apprehensive before the start of that first race (a totally normal feeling that I still get now!), but I also remember the wonderful feeling of crossing the finish line, one of complete relief and accomplishment. I get that feeling every time I cross a finish line because each race is a triumph in itself.

In 2004 when I was diagnosed I was told to stop competing, so I did.  I carried on training and eventually got bored and needed a goal – so I entered a local triathlon and won.  That was it the bug was back.  In 2013 I qualified for the European and World Championships. I got a silver at the Europeans and gold in the Worlds in London.  I couldn’t believe it and cried as soon as I crossed the finish line!

Having MS does hinder my training and the number of races I can enter. I get a lot of nerve pain and my balance isn’t that good. I’ve had enough scrapes with hedges to last me a lifetime! I can do hard sessions when things are good and lighter or no sessions when I’m suffering the effects of MS.  Swimming is brilliant for pain as it seems to disappear once I get in the water, sometimes I go just for the pain relief.  All my training is in the morning as that’s when I have the most energy.  I also make sure I get enough rest and recovery, if not my MS will let me know.

I competed in the European Sprint Distance Championships in Glasgow, which was a phenomenal experience. I won my age-group but was also the fastest female around the course! The early start helped in terms of my MS, and the bike course was perfect for someone who is used to hills (I come from Devon). The run around Strathclyde Park was lovely and the cheering from spectators both on the bike and on the run was immense, it really kept me going even if a few evil looking geese got in my way at one point.  The noise from the crowd on the blue carpet was a cacophony of cheers and when the commentator said I was the first female it was an unreal experience.

I love taking part in triathlon because not only does it mean that I can eat loads and get away with it. The benefit of triathlon being three sports rolled into one, means that I don’ t get board in training because it changes each time. I’ve become European Champion twice, and World Champion once that with runner up at both as well isn’t bad for someone with MS.

You don’t have to be the fastest round the course, but once you’ve given triathlon a go and taken the leap you’ll love every minute of it. The best thing to do is to give it a go, find your local event and #TriLikeMe.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeTrish in 2019

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Ali Masterson

I decided to enter the Waveney Tri as a way of fundraising for a local charity. A friend loaned me their road bike and I spent January training on a turbo trainer before heading out on the road for the first time! I built up my stamina by cycling to work when I could and tackling some big hills regularly. I found that I couldn’t swim 2 lengths without needing to stop and have a break, but with help from coaches at my tri club I was able to build up my ability to swim length after length.

Fitting training in around a full time job and family life has been tricky but by making simple changes I have been able include bike rides as my commute to work, my kids have joined me at Parkrun now, and setting aside time for my swim training instead of vegging in front of the TV.

When the Waveney Tri came around I was ready to go! The run was hard because I had a sore foot which meant I walked a bit of it, but was able to manage a sprint finish. I was shattered but it was so worth it.

The best thing about training for the Tri was finding I was much more capable than I thought I was, seeing an immediate impact on my health and stamina and gaining the respect of my kids as I set them a good example for a healthy lifestyle and attitude. 

You don't have to be a Brownlee or have all the gear and an expensive bike. The Tri community is supportive of everyone at every level and you will only ever get respect and support from your fellow triathletes.  Turn up. Have a go. It's a swim, then a bike ride, then a run. You don't have to be fast, just give it a go and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAli in 2019

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Dan Braddock

I got into cycling around 2011 and got involved with sportive events, however after a number of years of doing just cycling I fancied a new challenge! My first triathlon was the Miners Trial in 2017, doing one sport is a challenge but three in quick succession seemed mind boggling! I was really nervous on the start, but at the finish I was so relieved it was over and knew that I wanted to go out and do another one. I signed up for one the following week as soon as I got home!

What made the experience so great was the sense of achievement and seeing how proud my friends and family were. The medal is a physical reminder of that achievement, so if I’m struggling with something at work or I lack motivation they remind me that I can do it if I really want to!

I love the sense of camaraderie and banter that exists between everyone at a triathlon, I did an event earlier this year where we all had our names on out numbers so everyone was encouraging each other along. There was one lady who I’d passed on the bike and kept seeing on the various run laps. I kept encouraging her each time I went passed and it kept me going as much as it did her and she ended up coming third in her age group!

This year I’ve done:

The next event I’m doing is the Shrewsbury Triathlon in early September and my final event this year is the Shropshire Triathlon in Ellesmere. It will be my first Olympic Distance event and I am looking forward to it and dreading it in equal measure! For 2019 I’ve already entered AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds and can’t wait to get out there!

Non-triathletes think you’re some sort of superhuman, which just isn’t the case, anyone can do a triathlon! You compete in the same disciplines, distances and course as the person that finishes first and the sense of achievement is amazing. So get out there, sign up to an event and #TriLikeMe.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeDan in 2019

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Kate Squires

I first got into triathlon because of my partner. He completed an Ironman and through spectating at the event, I was motivated to give triathlon a go. The first event that I did was with my local tri club in 2017, although I’d done parts of a triathlon in a relay team.

I was excited, although slightly nervous at the start of the race, however once I’d got into the swim I really enjoyed it and pushed myself all the way around. When I crossed the finish line I was ecstatic and full of the sense of achievement that comes with completing a triathlon. The other thing that comes with completing a triathlon is feeling tired and I did!

The best thing about being a triathlete is the togetherness you feel with the other triathletes that you meet at the different events. The physical and mental fitness that triathlon gives you is great and because of the training, you get to eat extra food knowing you’ll burn through the calories. Yum!

I’ve already competed in a relay, doing the bike and run sections, as well as the Aquathlon (swim and run) at Hever Castle, both of which were amazing fun! I’m lined up to do the Monster Standard race which will be my first full standard distance triathlon, I’ve done the elements separately for relay teams but this will be the first time I’ve done a full one.

If you haven’t done a triathlon yet, then #TriLikeMe and go for it! Join a local club and this will help you to learn the ropes and be encouraged by triathlon minded people. Go along with an open mind, give it a try and see what happens!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeKate in 2019

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Jodie Stimpson

My triathlon life started very much with my family because my uncle did Ironman races and it was dad who taught me to swim. They both took me along to my first triathlon when I was 8. It was great to have that family support and I remember running straight to my dad after I’d won and giving him a massive hug after the race.

My first race was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget because I won! It wasn’t a bad way to start my triathlon life, however it’s not just about winning. I really love the addictive feeling of battling during a race – when you win it just makes the ending that bit sweeter! The race I’m looking forward to competing in is Super League Jersey at the end of September. The different formats make the race experience something completely different and it challenges you in new ways, it’s not your traditional swim-bike-run! Super League Jersey was really fun and unlike any other race out there - the short formats make it accessible for all experience levels. This year there’s an age group race, so I’ll see you there for an unforgettable weekend!

I’d recommend triathlon to anyone. It’s an addictive feeling and all you have to do is #TriLikeMe and start your first triathlon, then that’s it, you’re hooked.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeJodie in 2019

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Alan Monks

In 2018 I’ve embarked on my first ever triathlon events! I decided to do a triathlon as I needed a challenge to get me going. I loved the idea of 3 sports in one and something that would really push me, but at the same time this 3 sports instead of 1 thing would keep training interesting. So far I’ve done the Merthyr Sprint Triathlon and GO TRI Merthyr Tri Duathlon and this has really whet my appetite for it now and planning on another couple before the season ends!

I have to say what an amazing experience. Both events were brilliantly run events and everyone was so encouraging. You hear this from other people who have raced before but never quite understand until you are in the thick of it. I love the camaraderie at the start and even where high 5’s are given. The people supporting have been fantastic and there is a real sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line. Just wish I started years earlier!

My son is 13 and took part in 2 junior triathlon events linked to the two that I did, and he loved them. He is going to be taking it up and he likes the idea of 3 different sports rather than just 1.

If you haven’t done a triathlon before, #TriLikeMe and just go for it. The brilliant thing is the sprint and super sprint triathlon caters for the absolute beginners to the more advanced.  No one judges you as everyone knows how difficult it can be, but also how rewarding it is.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAlan in 2019

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Louise Clark

I could already ride a bike and swim and after ‘learning’ to run, I fancied giving a triathlon a go. I signed up for the 2018 York Super Sprint and it was fantastic! It was made memorable by the organisation from UK Triathlon and the super friendly, supportive atmosphere that there was around the event.

My second triathlon will be the Super Sprint race at the Allerthorpe Classic Triathlon and my first open water swim. My husband keeps teasing me that I’m going to be chased round by a pike! I’m really looking forward to the race, despite the ‘pike’ that may be there!

I’m hoping to do longer triathlons next year having started with Super Sprint races this year. I’m about to embark on a training programme at the gym to improved my running as that’s my weakest discipline.

The best thing about triathlon is being able to get involved in more than one discipline, I learned to run and it’s never too late to learn swimming, cycling or running. I’ve waited until nearly 50 to start triathlon, so I’m just building up! Put the time into training (and enjoy it!), find an event and just get out there and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLouise in 2019

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Sophie Coldwell

My first triathlon experience was when I was 8 years old and my mum spotted some adverts for a local triathlon, she signed me up and off we went! I remember struggling through the race, at the time I couldn’t even swim 50m front crawl, but I really enjoyed the experience of it. Once I’d finished I found at that I’d actually gone and won the race! I was so excited to get my hands on my first trophy!

For me the best thing about taking part in triathlon is being able to do something that I absolutely love as a job. I feel so fortunate to have the lifestyle I have, avoiding having a ‘proper’ job and having my life fully immersed in triathlon! I get to travel around the world competing in triathlon and call it work, meeting loads of great people along the way.

If you haven’t given triathlon a go yet, then #TriLikeMe and get involved! It’s a great way to meet people and you’ll meet people who travel from across the UK and the world to compete. My advice is to train with some friends as it’s a great way to keep fit and socialise.

This year’s World Series Grand Final in the Gold Coast will be my first as a senior and I’m really excited to compete. I also can’t wait to finish off my season in Jersey at Super League Jersey, it’s going to be an epic way to end my 2018 season. The racing is Super, the crowds are Super, the whole weekend is just Super! Super League Jersey was an amazing weekend of racing and activities in a beautiful location and it will be again this year. This time anyone will get a chance to compete and get to watch us pros in action on the same course after!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeSophie in 2019

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Bailey Matthews

The first event that I took part in was Castle Howard in July 2015, when I was 8. I’d been inspired to get into triathlon by my dad and my uncle, both of whom also take part in triathlons. My dad had entered me for the event about a year before and I’d been telling all my school friends and teacher about it!

It was the first weekend of my school holidays and was really excited! I really enjoyed the swim, but not so much the run from the swim into first transition. The hills on the bike course were very steep which I found quite hard, but I managed to get over them and completed the bike leg. I found running with my walking frame a challenge, but when I heard everyone cheering as I approached the finish line I was motivated to ditch it! The feeling of crossing the line was immense, I was so happy because I’d done it! My first triathlon was completed!

I really enjoy the variety that you get from triathlon because of the three different stages. The challenge of taking on all three is what makes triathlon special and why I love it! I also really enjoy the fact that you get to see a lot of the same people at the different events. People from all over the country that have become good friends simply through doing triathlon.

My advice to someone think about taking part in a triathlon is to not worry about the time or position you come in, the only thing that matters is having a go and enjoying it. Whatever happens #TriLikeMe and enjoy it! If I can take part in a triathlon, then anyone can – but maybe not my Grandma!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeBailey in 2019

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Charles Stephenson

I learned to swim as a 30-year-old spring chicken, so naturally decided that a triathlon was the best thing to do. The first event that I took part in was the 2014 London Triathlon, moonwalking my way to the back of my wave as a desperately didn’t want to start near the front!

I felt my confidence rise and rise as I went through the course and crossing the finish line was one of my greatest life achievements. The best thing about being a triathlete is the confidence it empowers you with to slay dragons, achieve goals, sweat more, gripe less and ditch the fear. I continue competing in triathlons as seeing people happy and succeeding motivates me. By doing what I love I believe it awakens and inspires the hearts of others.

Everyone should try a triathlon as it really isn’t that hard! The sun rises, the sun sets, so just get out there, go for a swim, a bike, a run and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeCharles in 2019

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Lucy Jackson-Jones

My husband took up triathlon before me when he replaced a friend in a team race, I went along to support him and really loved the event atmosphere and thought “I’d like to give that a go”. Soon after I taught myself to swim front crawl and completed the Ulverston Sprint Triathlon, finishing 17th. After a bit of training and steady improvement each year, I won the same race in 2012!

I’m always super excited at the start of a race, despite having lots of butterflies. Pool swims are the most nerve wracking for me, I just love swimming in open water so much!! I always check mid-race to make sure that I’m enjoying the race – when you’ve put so much time and effort into something, you really should enjoy it. When you cross the finish line it’s always a mix of relief that it’s over, but pride that you’ve completed what you’ve worked so hard for.

The best thing about taking part in triathlon is just how happy it makes you feel! It’s not as hardcore as you think, so get out there give it a go and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLucy in 2019

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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 2019

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Peter Vasey

I used to be pretty fat and in a very sedentary job when my wife frogmarched me to a bike shop to buy a bike to help me lose weight. I enjoyed the cycling but reached a point where I needed to vary what I was doing. I’ve been a Motorcycle Official for British Triathlon for years, so had followed triathletes on my motorbike and decided that triathlon was what I’d have a go at.

The first event I did was the Monster Sprint at Feltwell. I was pretty nervous on the start line, but by now I knew a lot of people from our tri club who were also competing. Knowing the other people competing was great and really helped me get around the course. By the time I was cheered over the line I was dead, thrilled and hooked on triathlon! Everyone’s really supportive of one another at events and everyone knows that it isn’t all about being on the podium at the end but competing against and conquering your own goals.

One of the best things about triathlon is that there are so many options available to you! Long, short, relay, GO TRI, open water swims, seas swims, pool swims, aquathlons, duathlons, road cycling…you get the idea. There’s something for everyone and you don’t get bored easily!

My advice to anyone who hasn’t given triathlon a go would be to just go and meet your local club. A friendlier bunch of extremely supportive nutters you will be hard pushed to find! I did and I love it, so #TriLikeMe and give it a go.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikePeter in 2019

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Tylisha Preston

I’d never really thought about taking part in triathlon, however after having had two superb years of racing extreme obstacle courses, I felt the time was right for me to find a new challenge to conquer! I put time into learning to swim, spending 6months watching videos and spending many hours persevering in the local swimming pool. In the spring of 2016 I signed up for my first triathlon – East Coast Triathlon in Yarmouth.

The start of a race is a right mix of emotions – nervous, excitement, doubt and enthusiasm all swirl around. The first race in Yarmouth was even more full of emotions as I stood poolside with my heart thumping and legs like jelly, but as soon as the go whistle blew the excitement and adrenaline washed over me – I was doing it!

On the bike stage I remember telling myself to just keep pedalling to tick of the kilometres and on the run just counting down from 400 distract myself from the burning in my legs! I stayed strong and crossed the finish line with the biggest grin and most amazing feeling! There was no way my first triathlon would be my last, this was the start of something new.

Triathlon is a great sport, you meet so many different people all with different ambitions from the race coming together for one race. Some are raising money for charity, others to tick it off the bucket list and others trying to qualify for the GB Age Group Team. Some athletes excel in individual disciplines, but it’s the combination of the three challenges coming together that makes triathlon what it is. Be brave, conquer those fears and #TriLikeMe, you wont have any regrets!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeTylisha in 2019

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Loyd Durham

I first got into triathlon back in 1998 and really enjoyed doing Sprint triathlons. I had been a successful runner in my youth and triathlon took this to the next level. There are so many amazing and inspiring people in this ever-growing sport, which means it’s a great time to get involved. I recently had my lower right leg amputated and managed my first GO TRI in June 2018 at the GO TRI Bayside Tri Triathlon. I really wanted to get back into Triathlons because it really pushes the boundaries of what I was told I could achieve with one leg.

On the morning of the GO TRI I was really nervous, although I know each discipline was only a short distance. The transition was my biggest mental hurdle to compete with, as well as completing the triathlon with a non-running leg!! Getting to the finish line was my main focus with plenty of challenges along the way. Reaching the finish line was incredible & overwhelming, the level of support from friends & family, plus the guys from Bayside Tri, was fantastic and a credit to the event.

I attended the ParaTri World Cup at Eton Dorney in May and am looking forward to the Arctic One Para and Triathlon Open event in July. As it’s still early days for competing, I’m looking to compete in the sprint as a team and potentially the Super Sprint as an individual – it’s all dependant on how the stump feels!

Triathlon is a great sport to get involved with, you meet so many people from different backgrounds but when it comes down to it everybody is the same. Some are better at running, cycling or swimming, but it all amounts to a great community event. If you haven’t tried a triathlon before, go along and watch an event or speak with your local tri club about GO TRI which is a fantastic introduction to the sport.

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeLoyd in 2019

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Nicola Warburton

I started off my triathlon life by taking part in duathlons (running and cycling). I had never previously competed in any sort of competitive race and duathlon seemed like a great way to start. It was great because I didn't have to commit to swimming in a race immediately, but now I've got that experience I'm much more confident and ready to race in the open water.

The first duathlon I did was the off-road Go Beyond Sport Mud and Mayhem Duathlon in Thetford Forest and the Sprint Castle Ashby Duathlon in Northamptonshire. The first time I took the dive into Tri was at the Mildenhall Sprint Triathlon which was a great race to enter in the world of triathlon with an indoor pool and beautiful scenery to motivate the novice triathlete!

I had everything set up and prepared in transition in plenty of time, so on the swim start I was happy that everything was in place. Words can’t describe the feeling of crossing the finish line, but to summarise my first triathlon experience in three words, they would be: determined, overjoyed and (energetically) completed! I couldn’t have done this without the support from my partner, he has been racing for many years and is really the reason I Tri today.

The best thing about doing triathlon has got to be the exciting element of mixing three sports that I love into one great experience. The variety that you get in training keeps it interesting, as well as the variety in competing across the three different disciplines. Though if I had to pick one, the cycling is my favourite because I have been training really hard to get that to a pace I am now happy with but can keep pushing for more.

The Olympic Distance race at Woburn Triathlon is my main goal for 2018. It’s a stunning location and have been training for the past year as completing an Olympic distance race is something I really want to do.

If you can do the disciplines on their own, then why not try triathlon! Work out what level you’re at for each discipline so you can get involved in sessions appropriate for you, then join a club and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeNicola in 2019

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Debs Clarke

I first got into triathlon so that I could lose weight. I chose triathlon because of the excitement of doing three sports means you can move change what you do depending on how you feel! The first event that I did was GO TRI Stoke. It was a great event and the atmosphere was amazing with everyone wanting to do their best despite being a bit nervous! I felt so nervous stood on the start line that I almost started crying, but I was so happy when I reached the finish! The feeling of finishing my first one only left me wanting to do more and experience new challenges.

GO TRI is an amazing way to get into triathlon and I’d encourage anyone (and everyone) to give it a go. It’s a great way to get to know the sport and also gives a relaxed environment to practice the three disciplines together and rehearse transition skills. Joining a club has also helped me loads because of the amazing support, great coaching and sense of community.

The best thing about taking part in triathlon is being able to roll three sports into one which makes it far more interesting and exciting than just doing one! I also love the people that you meet at triathlon events from all different walks of life. My main target was to complete the half distance at the Ultimate Triathlon and I did in 8hours, loving everyone minute of it! I’m not someone who aims for times, just glad to be able to take part.

If you want to get involved with triathlon and #TriLikeMe, then why not try a relay with a group of friends to experience the atmosphere. With one person swimming, one person cycling the other running, a relay takes the pressure off having to do all three disciplines and is a great way to do something active with friends!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeDebs in 2019

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Adam James

Having decided that I needed a way of losing weight (and keeping it off!) I decided to get involved with triathlon. The overall fitness I’ve developed since starting is a fantastic part of triathlon and a great reason to keep going. The first event that I did was the Stratford Super Sprint in 2016. This was a great event because Stratford is a lovely place and the weather was on my side. I had my wife, daughter family and friends supporting me and the event was well supported by the residents of the Stratford. The marshals were great and alongside fellow competitors would gee you up if you started to struggle. It was well organised and I finished just outside my goal time, but I did it!!

I felt so nervous at the start, however when I finished the race I was so proud of how far I’d come and looking forward to where I was going. The camaraderie with other participants is fantastic and they encourage you around the course if you start to struggle.

I completed my first Olympic Distance triathlon in Birmingham this year which was a struggle, but as per normal competitors, supporters and marshals would keep you going! This was the furthest I had ever swam and ridden my bike. The weather was so hot, but I gritted my teeth and dragged myself around it. I was that tired at the end I could not speak. I just wanted to get home to tell my wife what I had achieved. My next challenge is the Ultimate Half middle Distance in 2019. I’ve got the bug for triathlon and this was always my goal when I started to lose weight is 2016. I have built up to this event completing a super sprint 2016, sprint 2017, Olympic in 2018 and lost 5 stone… 2019 what have you got for me??

Triathlon is the best sport in the world, so #TriLikeMe take the plunge and do it!!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeAdam in 2019

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Paul Harris

I used to drink & smoke excessively and one morning I woke up and realised I was holding my breath whilst tying my shoe laces! I decided to get fit and lose weight, but I knew I needed a bigger motivation than that. As my wife and I have 3 healthy girls I wanted to help those less fortunate than our own, but after looking around and not finding a local cause I decided to set up my own charity known as charityforkids.co.uk. To date we have helped over 400 local families and raised over £400,000.

My first taste of a triathlon event was my own event, which saw a team of 6 complete a 2-way relay channel swim (more worrying was I couldn’t swim at this point), followed by a 35 mile ride from Dover to Rye and finish off with a half marathon run back to our home town of Hastings. After the event I took part in the Hever Castle Sprint Triathlon. Since then I have completed many unique challenges including a reverse relay triathlon: running from Hastings to Eastbourne; followed by a 50 mile ride to Bognor Regis; and a relay swim of 65 Miles back to Hastings. I have also completed several Ironman Triathlons.

My love and passion for Triathlon has seen me become a qualified Level 2 Triathlon Coach, a Running Coach and Level 2 Road & Time Trial Coach. The end result to this was setting up my own Triathlon Club known as www.hartri.co.uk to help all abilities from beginners to Age Group.

At my very first event I felt petrified on the start line with so many people around me, to help with my nerves I decided to start at the back and slowly work my way through the pack. Once I crossed the finish line of that first race I knew that this was the sport for me!

I love everything about triathlon, the sport, the people and being able to represent your country in an Age Group event. My advice for someone to #TriLikeMe is find a triathlon club, get motivated by like minded people and add to your family! What are you waiting for?

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikePaul in 2019

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Mark Laughton

My first triathlon was back in 1994, my second however was in 2012 when I entered the Castle Howard Triathlon. I decided to go and give triathlon another go having retired from rugby and wanting to try out a more varied way of training. I’d always enjoyed cycling, so triathlon seemed like a good progression.

Despite hours in the pool I’d never actually swum in open water, so on the start line I felt a little bit nervous! I did most of the 800m swim as breaststroke, but I made it through! There is such camaraderie amongst competitors and everyone supports and cheers you on whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or complete newbie.

My advice for someone to #TriLikeMe is there’s no shame in being the slowest swimmer, not having a fancy bike or walking on the run, everyone will give you support. You’ll also get some proper kudos from those who haven’t done a triathlon!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeMark in 2019

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Emily Burton

I used to be a swimmer, getting up at 6am to train before school, but I was never the best. I did well at school cross-country and my PE teacher suggested that I give triathlon a go. I did my first triathlon aged 15 and immediately fell in love with the sport. I shocked myself by finishing second and realised that despite it being an individual sport there is a huge community feel.

Having been admitted to A&E with meningitis I soon got fed up with the white walls and decided that I was going to make the GB Age-Group team and channelled all my emotions into getting back into triathlon once I was allowed out. Whilst doing my A-Levels I was back training and after 10 months of hard training I qualified for the team! That first international race was the toughest of my life but to cross the line and see my parents made all the pain worth it.

Through triathlon I have achieved more than I could have ever dreamed of and have met some of the most amazing people and made incredible friends. My advice for someone to #TriLikeMe is to try not to be nervous and enjoy every minute of it!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeEmily in 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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Nick Woodley

I had a bad flu over Christmas of 2013 and couldn't make it downstairs easily. When it cleared up I was out of shape, fat, tired and couldn’t event run for the bus! My father had been living with a bad heart and I decided that something in my life had to change. My builder at the time did triathlons and he wasn’t skinny or stacked, so I decided that I could do triathlon! The only problem was that I couldn’t run.

I signed up for couch to 5k and having done my first run at race distance, I signed up for the Henley Triathlon with my dad as a sponsor. He was my best mate and often partner in crime. He said “I bet you can’t do it, but I’ll pay to see you try” I was determined to get one over on him! My dad sadly passed away 2 months before the race, so I upped my game on the training and started raising money for the British Heart Foundation. The organisers switched me up to the longer distance before the cut off. On the start line I was confident because I knew I could complete the course, however doing it in front of spectators made me really nervous. As soon as the race starts however you’re off, everyone is really friendly and the atmosphere amongst the other participants is fantastic.

 I’ve now done 4 triathlons, with a couple more in the pipeline. Henley is still my favourite and I have soft spot for it because it was my first – I love it!! Next year I want to step up and do an Olympic Distance because I need a challenge and want to know where my limit is. I have done some amazing events so far have finished all of them, so am going to take the next step up! I want to be able to say I did it rather than I wish I had tried to.

My advice to someone who hasn’t tried a triathlon is to just do it! You never know what you can do until you’ve given it a tri, so get out there and #TriLikeMe!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeNick in 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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David Brewer

My first experience of triathlon was when for 40th birthday, my wife treated me to a trip to the 2004 IRONMAN Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. When we got there I decided to volunteer and ended up in transition looking after the elites. It is an experience I shall never forget, especially meeting the great Norman Stadler who went on to win the race!!

I’m not a ‘normal’ triathlete because I can’t ride a bike and only learned to swim in 2014 when arthritis in my hip stopped me running. In September 2017 I finally had an operation on my hip and to show everyone that you can train and race after major surgery, I’ve entered the Triathlon England National Aquathlon Championships in July 2018!!

The National Champs at the Monster Racing Aquathlon will be my first multisport race. It felt like a great way to compete in my age group now that I am running again and have developed a love for open water swimming – it also means I don’t have to get on the bike!

Being inspired to compete is a great way to get into triathlon. As well as Hawaii, I’ve been to many World Triathlon Series and World Cup events, as well as SuperLeague Jersey to see the top triathletes compete. So whether you’re inspired by them or inspired to #TriLikeMe, just go and give it a go! Find a club or event near you and get involved!

Check out our permitted events to #TriLikeDavid in 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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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 2019

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