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Ely's Race Report: from being hospitalised to winning the race

For Ely, the first spark to take on her first triathlon came in a rather unusual place: a hospital.

After fracturing her pelvis and contracting sepsis, which left her hospitalised for two weeks, Ely was told she couldn't run for three months – a setback that took a toll on her mental health. "I found solace on the stationary bike in the gym, transitioning to biking outside when I was told that I could," she shares.

This newfound passion for cycling led Ely to compete in her first duathlon, and with the encouragement of her triathlete boyfriend, she decided to take the plunge and sign up for her first triathlon. With sponsorship from Fund Her Tri UK, she entered The One on the River Triathlon, super sprint distance.

Training and Preparation

Ely's training routine was rigorous, involving six days of intense training and one day of yoga for recovery.

While she is a seasoned runner, having participated in races ranging from 5Ks to marathons, she now finds cycling to be her strongest discipline. "I live near some pretty strong hills which have dramatically helped my strength and confidence when it comes to cycling!" she notes.

However, swimming posed a greater challenge. When she applied for her sponsorship with Fund Her Tri UK, she shared that she was finding it hard to swim for long periods of time, but was slowly improving at it. She really enjoyed the variety in her training, bringing it a refreshing change from the monotony of marathon preparation.

Race day

After her intense preparation, Ely faced unexpected adversity on race day: "It was pouring with rain! So I was pretty miserable and super nervous," Ely recalls. The weather was so bad that the swim leg was cancelled for the safety of the athletes, and the triathlon became a duathlon.

Throughout the race, she experienced both highs and lows. The rain and cold were significant obstacles, making the conditions quite challenging. However, she found joy and strength during the uphill segment of the bike route: "My favourite part was the uphill on the bike route! I have trained a lot on the ones near my house, and that’s where I overtook the most people!"

Despite the adversities, Ely's primary aim was simple: to cross the finish line with a smile on her face. But, to her surprise, she exceeded her own expectations, performing better than anticipated: she finished first overall!

Post-race reflections

Ely's enthusiasm for triathlons has only grown after this experience. When asked if she plans to participate in more triathlons in the future, her response is an emphatic, "Yes, yes, and yes!"

And, reflecting on her own experience, Ely advises other people doing their first triathlons to train transitions. "That’s definitely where I lost the most amount of time", she recalls.

She also says that the support from FHTUK played a crucial role in her journey. "From the group chat, to the events, to the Instagram page. FHTUK is just full of amazing people". <3

Ely's first triathlon was full of adversities, including the race being changed last minute to a duathlon. More than testing her physical limits, it was a testament to her determination and commitment to achieving her personal goals. We couldn't be more proud of her, and we can't wait to see what her future in triathlon will bring!

Ready to take on your first triathlon? Click here to learn how to apply for sponsorship by Fund Her Tri UK!



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