Get Lee to the Triathlon World Championships
Three years ago, London hosted the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Little did I know the impact they would have on my life...
Following a spectacular summer of sport, I decided I wanted to be part of an 'inspired generation' and take up a new sport that I'd enjoyed during the Olympics.
For me, Triathlon had always been attractive. I'd always been a keen runner, cyclist and swimmer - so, following the closing ceremony I purchased a new bike, dusted off my running shoes and hit the pool...
I competed in my first Triathlon in the summer of 2013 at the docklands in London - a 1500 metre swim, a 40KM bike rounded off by a cheeky 10K run. I finished with a respectable time of 2 hours, 20 minutes. The exhilieration of the event was amazing, and having done it once, I wanted to do it again - but quicker.
Following the London Triathlon of 2013, I trained hard and went into the 2014 season with a determination to better myself. 2014 was a huge success and game changing for me: I became more confident in the swim; I overcame the challenge of taking off a wet suit at speed - who knew it was so difficult?; I was able to push my speed on the bike and my run cadence was improving.
After one of last summers triathlons, a fellow triathlete turned to me and urged me to enter a Team GB qualification race to represent the country in my age group. I chuckled and thought to myself, "there is no way I could ever represent GB...I only took it up a year ago!" However, once the seed had been planted in my mind, I was determined to enter a qualification race and see what would happen.
In September last year though, the unthinkable happened and I was knocked off my bike on Oxford Street in Central London. A taxi door opened on me, throwing me off my bike and into the pavement. The impact of the taxi door smashed most of the bones in my right hand meaning I had to undergo plastic surgery to insert wires to bind the smashed bones back together.
For me, the trauma wasn't being knocked off my bike, but it was knowing that my Team GB qualification race was off the cards. Doctors told me I wouldn't be able to move my hand for 6 weeks and swimming was out of the question "probably for the next six months or so." After six weeks, the wires were removed and I worked intensively with the amazing hand therapy team at the Royal Free Hospital in London to get me on track as quickly as possible. By a stroke of mircale, by December I was training and determined to get my fitness back to where it needed to be.
The Road to Chicago
After five months of intesive training, I finally entered two Team GB Age Group qualification races in May this year. For me, getting to those races was enough. Waking up with half my arm in a cast 8 months before, I would have never have dreamed I would have been back and condident enough to race....
The qualification races were tough - however, a few days following the race I recieved an email to say I'd be selected for the Age Group team who would be travelling to the ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Triathlon Championships in Chicago this coming September.
I qualified in the 25-29 age group and will be representing Team GB in the Sprint distance race, meaning I'll undertake a 750 metre swim, 20km bike ride and a 5K run.
As you can imagine, I'm overjoyed and truly honoured to have the opportunity to represent my country at an international leve. 3 years ago as I watched Lord Coe tell the world, "When our time came - Britain, we did it right", I never would have dreamed to be wearing Team GB kit with 'Thompson' printed on it!
My focus now has turned to the race on September 17th. My training has intensfied and I'm lucky enough to be working some of the most amazing sports trainers in the country on my programme - Anthony Fletcher and the team at PreCon3 are providing me with Biomechanics, nutrition and training support and Barry's Bootcamp London are continuing to push my body to places I never thought it was possible.
The Cost of Chicago
Financially though, the honour of representing your country brings a number of costs including: Flights; Accomodation; Team GB kit costs (Tri Suit, Track Suit, T-shirts); a Bike Box to transport the bike on a plane; Ugrading of equitment (race wheels).
In total, my trip to Chicago is likely to set me back £5,000.
I'm therefore asking for support in helping me get there....
Its cheesy I know, but in this situation, every little helps! It's such a honour to be a member of team GB, so any support you can give in helping me get to Chicago will be greatly appreciated.