Mandy Walsh

Well after nearly 12 months of being coached by Sarah Jepson I was finally at the World Triathlon Championships. Me, Mandy Walsh from Leyland who never liked running till 15 years ago, took up triathlon 5 years ago and would have laughed if anyone had ever said to me I’d be competing for my country. Anyway I had made it and what an absolute honourwith my family and friends so proud of me. It was a great feeling.

Cozumel is beautiful but very hot and humid so not the usual Lancashire conditions we are used to. Had a good few days of relaxing before race day just doing short runs, bike and transition practice. The sea was unbelievable and it was a joy to be in there so Lorraine and I made the most of it I can tell you.

Race day morning dawned hot and humid as usual. There was an excited buzz around transition with all the athletes getting set up for their race. I went to the swim start after setting up finally ready. I was nervous as usually the swim is my weak link. We got in the swim and set off and I had a great swim ,passing some people and keeping on other athletes feet. There was a strong current as we headed into the pontoon which made the last part of the swim slightly tricky. Loved the swim and was smiling as I exited. I could hear everyone shouting as I made the long run to transition. Got my bike, had a good mount and then enjoyed the bike as it was flat and straight once you were on the road. Back into transition and onto the run. This run was only 5k but it was BRUTAL. I basically hung on and took on water and ice at every opportunity. Running down the final stretch to the finish line was amazing and once over the line the emotions came flooding out.

The experience was completely fantastic for many reasons. My brilliant friend and domestique Lorraine, our apartment family- Bob, Beau and Libby. The downstairs crew- Rodger, Gaz, Pete, Sarah, Blythe and Gill. It was great to share the experience with you. A special thanks to Pete for being top bike man. Thanks to Sarah for getting me there and Lorraine who I shared every day with.

This event will hold wonderful memories for me for ever. Thanks