Georgina Crawshaw, 40, had done just two triathlons before being picked to represent Great Britain in her age group.
I’ve always been pretty sporty, ever since I was little– more to stay fit and healthy than anything. I’m notvery good at sitting still, even on holiday, so in winterI ski and in summer I windsurf! I’d dabbled in a bitof running, doing a couple of half marathons anda full marathon, but I’d never done sport competitively.‘That said, I can’t resist a challenge. I work as ajournalist in Bath and, a couple of years ago, I wasexercising most days – running and doing groupcross-training classes at Urban Endurance (utsbath.co.uk).The coaches quickly cottoned onto my competitive streak. Imade a harmless comment about “wanting to do a triathlon oneday” as I was in awe of coach Paul Ransome’s GB trisuit, and,before I knew it, I’d signed up to do a half ironman – the IM70.3Weymouth in 2016. As I said, I’m a bit of an all-or-nothing person!‘This race included a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride anda half marathon. When I started training for it, I couldn’t swimmore than a couple of lengths of front crawl without breaking intobreaststroke, and I’d never owned a road bike, let alone done atriathlon. I just wanted to get around the course in one piece andwithin the cut-off times. As it turned out, I did it in under sixhours, finishing nine per cent off the female winner in my agegroup, and qualifying to apply for a spot on the GB team! Icouldn’t believe it when I was invited to join the team for the European Championships in Denmark a few months later!
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A STEEP LEARNING CURVE
‘Paul Ransome, who was coaching me, reassured me Icould do it, but I was terrified! Suddenly training got serious.I squeezed in 12 hours a week around work and invested ina triathlon bike. The pre-race prep was tough. I crashed mybike in an Olympic-distance training race a month before the bigevent, and was so nervous on the way to Denmark that I threwup in a security tray and passed out on the plane! As it turned outthe race had its ups and downs, but I wiped over 30 minutes offmy previous PB, coming in 20th in my age group.
’ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
‘I’d well and truly caught the triathlon bug. So in September, Ireturned to Weymouth, in an attempt to win a place in the 2018IM70.3 World Championships. The weather conditions were awfulbut I ran my fastest ever half marathon off the bike (sub 1:45) andcrossed the finish line fourth in my age group. I was a few minutesoff a podium place, but I still qualified for the World Championshipsin South Africa!‘I’ll be wearing my GBR trisuit again at the Middle DistanceEuropean Championships in Ibiza in October, too. And I’mreally excited that I’ve just been asked to join the Zoot AthlosRacing Team (see britishtriathlon.org). I can’t wait to see whatthe next year has in store. As Walt Disney once said, If youcan dream it, you can do it roll on Tri-2018!.
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