Why I Tri: Rebecca’s Story
I come from a sports-mad family, so being active and involved in sport has always been a way of life. Triathlon was just another sport that I dabbled in growing up, but only really to complement other sports during summer. Several years on, after a string of injuries had me stuck in the pool and on the bike, I decided to put all that ‘cross-training’ toward something meaningful and entered a local tri – I have not looked back since!
Triathlon is undoubtedly an addiction – you get hooked on that feeling of exhaustion at the end of a hard training session, the adrenaline rush standing on the edge of the water before the start gun goes off and the feeling of elation of crossing the finish line with your friends and family watching.
I am an amateur triathlete from New Zealand. I work full-time and have an amazingly supportive husband and fur-baby (a spoodle named Ruby) who help keep me grounded. I’m also super lucky to have an amazing coach in my Mum (a former elite triathlete herself) who knows the challenge of balancing training, work and family. She is a continuous source of guidance and inspiration.
This year I am entering into my fourth season of racing triathlon. Having competed over sprint and standard distance over the last three years (and doing pretty well at a national level) I decided to ramp up the miles and take on the challenge of the Ironman 70.3 (half-ironman).
So why do I tri? Three C’s can best sum this up: Challenge, Camaraderie and Commitment.
I have always been up for a challenge and mastering three sports over one definitely presents a challenge! Coming from a running and a bit of a swimming background, I assumed that cycling would be no sweat – oh was I mistaken! Having to master all three disciplines makes you appreciate your strengths and continuously strive to improve your weaknesses.
My decision to enter my first half-ironman (Sunshine Coast Ironman 70.3) was to test myself over the longer distance. The thought of doing a half marathon at the end of a 90k bike seemed an impossible task when I set myself this goal, but come race day, all the hard yards paid off and I loved (almost) every minute of it!
It takes a certain ‘sort’ to try a tri, and once you do, you realise your part of a unique group of crazies! Meet another triathlete (whether you have done 1 or 100) you will not have a shortage of conversation. I now have different groups of friends who I swim, cycle and run with, and feel lucky to be a part of a very close local tri community.
Working a full-time job and cramming in training for a half-ironman requires some serious commitment, but perhaps most importantly, it requires an understanding and supportive group of family and friends to enable you to make that commitment. I am super lucky to have a support crew of family and friends who turn up to all my big races, and this really makes the commitment worthwhile when you can share your achievements with those closest to you.
Trying a tri for the first time can seem like a daunting prospect but all I can say is you’ll never know what you are capable of until you give it a go – put those fears aside and just tri!
-Rebecca Elliot, New Zealand