As a pastoral worker in a secondary school, 2020 was unlike any other year for Marion at work, however, it was also a year in which she discovered multisport having met Louise Minchin in 2019.
“During lockdown, the secondary school I work at, within student pastoral support, operated as a hub for children of key workers and also vulnerable students,” Marion commented.
“My role was, and still is, supporting these students to continue their studies in a very different environment and educational setting.
“I believe that instilling confidence and values in young people is so important and I hope that that young people will see that with persistence and hard work, goals are achievable and it's never too late.
“As I often tell people nothing is impossible when the word can easily be changed to I'm-possible.”
Alongside her work, Marion has been a keen cyclist for a number of years and, living out what she tells her students, 2020 saw her take on her first duathlon and seek qualification to the Great Britain Age-Group Team.
“In October 2019 I saw Louise Minchin at a local book festival,” Marion added. “The way she spoke with such passion about her Age-Group qualification journey got me hooked.
“As a cyclist I have completed the Fred Whitton finishing within the top 5% of women along with Coast to Coast in a Day and Wales in a Day. I absolutely love the challenge - my wife calls me a 'cyclopath'.
“It sounds strange but I took a photo whilst on a bike ride and it turned out blurry, which made me realise that I had no focus for 2020 because the cycle sportives I had entered were either postponed or cancelled.
“Before lockdown I could only run a bath but, like the rest of the British population, I downloaded the 'Couch to 5k' app and had a well-known Geordie comedian as a coach and the rest, as they say, is history.”
With 5km running now under her belt, Marion set her sights on a sprint duathlon and was able to compete when events were permitted again during last summer.
“When we headed into lockdown I realised I probably wouldn't be able to try a duathlon, but the duathlon in Derbyshire was given the green light and I had such a great day,” she commented.
“I met some really nice people, learned a lot about the event and myself. I was enjoying it so much I ended up cycling an extra lap but I did a time I felt proud of!
“I was absolutely chuffed when I realised that I had qualified for the team. I haven't stopped talking about it and so looking forward to the event. I'm so proud to be representing my country and being part of the team.”
If you’re a key worker within the triathlon community and would like to share your story, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.