I am looking to raise funds to help me achieve my 10 year dream to represent Great Britain at the Triathlon World Championships this September which are being held in Chicago, USA. I have qualified in the Age Group Category 40-44 and now need to raise funds urgently to cover the costs to get me to to the start line.
Unfortunately, as an amateur athlete, there is no funding from federations as athletes have to find the funding themselves.
I am, and will be, extremely grateful for any donations given and pledge that I will not only train and compete as hard as possible but promise to use my experiences to inspire the next generation of triathletes young and old.
I am approaching my 44th birthday and have been participating and competing in triathlon for just over 10 years. I have worked for nearly 22 years at the Woodland Trust, a Conservation Charity. I have a family to support, train twice a day, totalling 12-20 hours per week and volunteer at the local tri-club.
I remember my very first triathlon like it was yesterday, this included a one mile lake swim and being a complete novice, thought a shorty wetsuit from the Devon coast would suffice, little did I know that would be the hardest and coldest swim of my life. But I made it and that was the start of my triathlon journey!
Over the next 5 years, I took part in more and more events slowly becoming fitter and better in all three disciplines (Swim-Bike-Run). It was at this point I learnt about the chance to qualify and represent GBR at European and World Championships for your given age group. I thought to myself "I want that" and "how cool would that be". From that moment I have dedicated time, money and hours of training to fulfilling that dream and pulling on the GBR trisuit.
Two years later after a huge amount of hard work, sacrifice and expense I managed to secure a place at the following years European Championships, you cannot believe how happy and proud I was. Unfortunately this was short lived as a few months later I started to experience back problems and I was diagnosed as having 2 prolapsed discs that required surgery and six months off work. This meant I had to turn my place down and withdraw. At my lowest point I couldn't even put my own socks on or leave the house, let alone think about training.
After a slow return from surgery wondering if I would ever be able to return to sport, let alone compete or reach the standard required to represent GBR, I slowly regained fitness and started my journey again. But, as we all know, life isn't always fair and not long into my return I had a road bike accident leaving me unconscious and requiring an air ambulance to QMC Hospital. The accident left me with a fractured jaw, torn lip and ear that both required stitches, two broken front teeth and a very shaken family. After multiple trips back to the hospital and dentist I was finally given the all clear to start training once again.
Over last last few years I have "worked my socks off" as they say, training 6 days per week, twice a day, overcoming achilles and calf niggles and finally putting myself in a position to have another shot at qualifying for the 2015 World Championships. When the qualifying race came around I was in great shape and performed beyond my expectations and after a tense wait was sent the letter I have dreamed off telling me that I had qualified. I cannot put into words how this made me feel after years of hardwork, determination and huge personal and family sacrifice but lets say I had a grin from ear to ear.
The World Championships take place between September 15th-19th, I will be racing over the Olympic distance which includes;
Swim 1500m / Bike 40km / Run 10km
My next big challenge is to raise as much money as possible towards the cost of representing my Country and fulfilling a 10yr dream.
All money raised will go towards the following, estimated to cost between £3,000-£4,000
Flights (Economy), accommodation (Sharing), event entry, GBR Kit, bike storage and transfer, travel & bike insurance and essential equipment.
Although I cannot offer any tangible rewards for supporting me and my dream, please be assured I will be truly grateful. Thank you for taking the time out in your busy day to read my project.