I was first introduced to the world of triathlon when my sister first explained what she was going to start doing with her free time. At first I thought she had hit a mid life crisis and was going mad- I never heard of the word triathlon before and the thought of having to pay to swim in brown water and put your body through torture was not appealing. I had always been an Irish dancer and triathlon seemed like a million miles away from the sport that I knew. Then I met the Featherstones. From that moment I quickly learnt that if you can’t beat them – join them.
When and why did you start triathlon?
While watching Annemarie and Sean in Camlough Triathlon in 2011 the encouragement started with Lil Featherstone. I don’t know how or why the words ‘I would love to do that’ came out of my mouth and that was all Lil needed to hear. A barrage of ‘why wouldn’t you?’, ‘You could do that no bother’ and ‘Next year you’ll do it’ from Lil, a trip to Dundalk with Sean to buy my first bike in ‘Tommy The Bikes’ and with Annemarie buying me my first wetsuit, I really was running out of excuses. The final push came when Sean bought me an entry to Camlough 2012 Triathlon for my birthday (you can imagine the forced ‘oh thank you! 😡) and that is where it all started. Looking back now, it was the best gift or push either of the three amigos could have given me.
For me triathlon is much more than a sport; triathlon opened the doors to a whole new world I had never seen before. It is much more than a swim, bike and run; the sport promotes friendships within all ages and abilities, laughs, smiles, memories, life experiences and moments that can never be repeated. I have only been involved in the sport a few years and already I could write a book about the people that I have met; the mischief and mayhem that has happened over the years, from the fourth event, to weekends away and the strangest awards nights!
I enjoy the friendly atmosphere that each race seems to create. The warmest feeling has often been hearing the tri club cheerleaders roaring names out as if their lives depended on it – to name a few I would have to mention Monica Mc Donald, Dervla Quinn, Elaine Hughes, Noelle Morgan, Lil Featherstone and the new kids on the block – Sophie and Shea Branigan. A special mention is also needed for the God Father of the club Tony Bagnall who has always been hot on my heels at any race I have done! With out these ladies and gents the races would never be the same so thank you!
Joining Newry triathlon club made me look at the world around me and the people in it in a different way. My advice would be to join the club, enter the races, do them with a smile on your face and enjoy the moment!