Isabel finished her first triathlon sponsored by Fund Her Tri UK on 05/08/2023 at Challenge London.
I’ve always loved swimming, and had recently started doing more cycling for commuting, as well as running. Doing all three disciplines of triathlon separately, I came across Fund Her Tri UK through a mutual connection to the co-founder, Bianca. Then, I went to the FHTUK brick session earlier this year and decided that I should just set myself this new challenge to combine all three sports!
A challenge with a smile
My first triathlon was Challenge London, in August, with my entry sponsored by FHTUK. And I absolutely loved it! There were some hiccups with some aspects of the event, but I still loved every second and had a smile on my face throughout. It was incredible to be part of such a huge sports event.
I definitely had way more highs than lows. I found the swim the most enjoyable part, perhaps surprisingly for a dip in the Thames on a windy day. In fact, I thought the choppiness of the water was super fun! Swimming has always been the strongest discipline for me out of the three, and I generally enjoy swimming in open water so found myself most at ease during this part of the triathlon, and even wished it could have been longer.
The sun came out for the bike and run, which made it much more enjoyable. I struggled with a few aspects of the cycle - trying to go fast without breaking my bike on the speed bumps was a big challenge, but thankfully I didn’t have any accidents.
The cycle was the worst discipline for me, just because we had to do a slightly different course than planned which was not as well suited to going fast, but I still had a lot of fun.
And I was surprised to find I enjoyed the run - it’s usually the least enjoyable part for me! It was so motivating to be cheered on by the crowds not just at the sprint finish, but throughout the course.
Finally, being greeted by Bianca and other FHTUK members at the end was just incredible!
I finished my first triathlon with 100% certainty that there will be more. I hope to start doing some longer distances in the future since I took part in the sprint distance, and maybe doing some triathlon tourism as a way to explore new places.
Advice for new triathletes
If you're thinking of doing your first triathlon, do not be intimidated and just go for it! I found the triathlon community as a whole to be much more welcoming than I expected and have loved every part of the training and competing in this sport. A special tip for swimming: a good wetsuit helps when training in chilly English water!
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