Rodger Wilkins 

Level 3 British Triathlon Coach

After watching Triathlon succeed as a test event at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, I decided it was time to take on a new challenge.

I have played many sports throughout my life with an emphasis on Football & Golf to a higher level and decided I was now going to focus my attention on Triathlon. At 28yrs of age I began training to compete.

My first hurdle was the swim. Having not swum since junior school where a 25m length felt like a long way, I soon realised I couldn’t swim properly. Like most non-swimmers I found it very difficult, but my persistence eventually paid off and progress was made. I went from struggling to complete a length to entering my first triathlon at Clitheroe in September 2003 where I came 22nd overall and loved every minute of it. I went on to compete throughout 2004 and managed to complete my 1st Olympic distance at Royal Windsor, which proved to be the distance on which I would focus my attention.

In 2005 I qualified for the Olympic Distance Age-Group World Championships in Hawaii where I came 34th out of 127, with a placement of 6th out of the 18 Brits in the 30 – 34 age group. It was a fantastic experience and one I definitely wanted more of.

My training became focused and I learnt something new with every triathlon I completed, picking up new training and racing techniques not just from triathletes but athletes from a variety of sporting disciplines and backgrounds.

In 2010 I qualified and competed for the Great Britain Age-Group team in the European Championships in Ireland (July) and the World Championships in Hungary (Sept). In that season I trained harder than I ever had, with the ultimate goal of winning a medal.

Not everything went according to plan though and four weeks before the Europeans I went over on my ankle at speed. I suffered a grade 3 tear to my ATL but with fantastic support I was able to make an accelerated recovery. In Budapest and Ireland I swam 21.38 and 22.10 respectively and completed both races under 2hrs, times which ultimately enabled me to win 2 Bronze medals and the sought after sense of achievement.

I had 2 years off competing in triathlon altogether in 2011/2012 but in the summer of 2012 I went to watch the Olympic triathlon in Hyde Park. Witnessing the Brownlee brothers win 2 medals was incredible. When it was announced that the ITU Grand Final 2013 would be in London along with the AG races I decided to try to qualify. I had an 'interesting' season as triathlon is often anything but plain sailing. In the actual race, under the circumstances I felt like things went as good as I could have hoped for and I finished 8th out of the 172 guys in my Age-Group. I may not have achieved my goal which was to win a medal but racing around the streets of London is the highlight of my triathlon career to date.

I have been swimming, cycling and running in and around the idyllic Ribble Valley in Lancashire for over 12 years. Consequently I have built up a vast network of intricate trail runs, which I deliver to keen runners and triathletes through www.lovetrailrunning.com and interesting, scenic bike rides to plan appropriate sessions from. I love the sport of Triathlon and now enjoy putting energy into sharing what I have learnt with others, coaching future competitive triathletes.