Clare Cotterill started out running before she was coerced into a triathlon by friends. That was in May 2015. By August she had entered her first half distance for the following May and then a year later she is all set for her first Ironman – training 15 hours a week as a single mum with two kids and a full-time teaching job.
Clare shares her triathlon jouney, as part of our women’s sport week celebrations. We hope her story, along with other women we’ll be featuring this week, inspires more women and girls to get involved in sport and give TRI a go!
“I had been with my running club for a while. I really enjoyed running and I had never even thought about triathlon. I didn’t like the idea of swapping from one activity to another. Then in May 2015 one of my friends sent some information through for a sprint triathlon – and then told me it was in two weeks time.
“I am not quite sure why, but I did it. I spent five minutes in transition getting ready messing around and I remember putting on moisturiser. It is hilarious thinking back now.
“I absolutely love it! I was buzzing! Within two months I had entered the Outlaw Half for the following May. I couldn’t believe it.
“I had actually vowed never to do an open water swim, but that had to change!
“As a single mum and primary school teacher, it is hard to fit everything in, but we do it. The kids, who are a nine boy and a seven-year-old girl, love the sport. The nine-year-old has just done his first aquathlon and duathlon. It’s fantastic to see them enjoying what it a great sport and I think it is a good example to set as their mum – committing to sport and exercise and showing them what can be achieved if you work hard for it.
“So after the half it seemed only natural to enter a long distance, so I entered Ironman Bolton. I am training 14 to 15 hours a week – getting up at five in the morning to fit everything in, and the kids are often supporting from the side of the running track or poolside. It is fantastic to have them as part of my journey.
“I am counting down the days to Bolton now. I am very proud of what I have achieved so far and I can’t wait to get stuck in, though I am terrified too. It is going to be an amazing way to celebrate my 40th. My message to anyone considering triathlon. ‘GO FOR IT’. You don’t have to go for half and long distance like I have, the GO TRI and sprint triathlons are so much fun.
“Joining Shrewsbury Triathlon Club has also been a huge part of my journey, The training and support has been phenomenal and I have made some friends for life. Again, it doesn’t matter what ability you are to join a club. Everyone is welcome and there is something for everyone.”
Could you be our next case study?