BSc Sports Science and Physiology
As a youngster with an extraordinary amount of energy I tried a whole range of sport before coming across a junior triathlon in 2003.
Being a competitive nine year old, and thinking this sounded like fun, I signed up, loved every minute of it and even managed to win my age category! Over the next few years I competed in lots of events across the North West of England in all three individual disciplines as well as in some junior multisport events, gradually improving my performances with some training. I gave up rugby and football, a particularly difficult decision, in order to focus my time and attention primarily on one sport, which allowed me to step up my cycling in my ambition to improve at triathlon. At the age of 14 I competed locally in my first Sprint Distance race at Kendal which I won, beating some notable North West athletes. The same year I also traveled to compete in a couple of National Youth Series events in order to gain experience.
The following year, 2009, I contested the National Youth Series and won my first British medal in the Elite Youth Duathlon Championships, held over a draft legal 2.5km, 20km, 1.25km format in Prestwold, near Loughborough. The exciting and intense elite, draft legal format really enticed me and over the following three years I regularly competed in national Junior Series events, raising my game along the way with some events raced among senior elite fields. I also continued to race local events and in 2011 at 16 I was old enough to prepare for and complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon at Chester. I executed my planned race and met my target of a sub 2 hour time to take the win by a good margin, which was a really promising sign.
2012, the year of the London Olympics saw me complete my A-levels and move on the bigger challenges. It was my final year as a junior athlete, culminating with proudly winning the Junior British Super Series before moving on to study Sport Science and Physiology at the University of Leeds. This would both be an academic and athletic challenge as I transitioned to training in the British Triathlon High Performance Centre with some of the best triathletes in the world, two of whom had just won Olympic medals! I felt I rose to the challenge and had a good winter's training whilst learning the ins and outs of my new environment.
In the 2013 season, my first as a senior athlete, I competed in my first Senior European Cup Triathlon event held over Olympic Distance in Turkey. A good performance finishing 31st showed the winter's hard work paying off, and also that there was plenty still to do, but my potential was noticed and I gained my first GB selection for the under 23 elite European Championships. The event was to be held in Holten, The Netherlands, and was a good learning experience despite my disappointing race result. After a good swim I struggled on the bike and then on the run I really had to appreciate the class and strength in depth of my competition, eventually finishing in 48th position. Other highlights for me were winning the British University Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships as a "fresher" and winning the non drafting Bala Olympic Distance Triathlon in North Wales.
2014 saw my second GB selection, based on the previous season's results, this time to the World University Triathlon Championships in Brazil. The ups and downs of the sport at any level were highlighted to me as with less than a month until the event I broke my collar bone in a bike crash whilst cycling to the pool for training, meaning I was unable to compete! I managed to rehabilitate and get back to racing relatively quickly and was pleased to win a bronze medal at the British University Olympic Distance Championships at Barton Marina, near Burton-on-Trent. The rest of the season and the 2015 and 2016 seasons have seen me compete in the British Elite Super Series as well as several European Cup events whilst studying until mid-2016 when I finished my course. I graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc degree in Sports Science and Physiology, meaning the end of my time in Leeds.
After first meeting Rodger in 2009 at an open water swim training session and getting chatting to him I immediately felt his enthusiasm and friendly persona. I got to know Rodger through seeing him at races, sometimes going head-to-head, and later through doing some training session with him on a friendly basis. Having competed in races across the UK and Europe over a variety of events I have built up a good deal of experience in the sport, which I hope to share with others. I am very pleased to be able to do that working with an enthusiastic and friendly group of people in Racepace, and I enjoy helping athletes grow and develop to compete in the sport I love!