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Get to know the 36 athletes on the UK Sport Lottery Funded World-Class Olympic and Paralympic Performance Programme.

Susan Medley Tri Story


We always love to hear all about your TRI experiences, to shout about and share your successes and triumphs, to inspire and encourage others to give TRI a go!

Here Susan shares her story, we think you’ll agree she’s an inspiration having had a brain haemorrhage in 2006, making a full recovery and taking on Ironman events – she loves a challenge and encouraging others to give TRI a go!

‘In August 2006, I had a brain haemorrhage at the age of 33. This has only spurred me on to take on more challenges, continue to push myself and encourage others to give TRI a go!  

‘I’ve been running for approximately 4 years... I started with 5Ks the first year, moved on to 10ks the second year, half marathons the third year and between April last year and June this year, I’ve completed the London marathon in April 2016, Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire in June 2016, Chester marathon in October 2016, Leicester marathon in October 2016, the Manchester marathon in March 2017 and Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire again in June just gone!

‘My TRI journey started two years ago, when a running pal saw ironman cyclists pass our local pub, the Yorkshireman in Rugeley, as it's on the bike route. She suggested we register our interest for when the entry opened, so we did! One evening late August, I received an email saying entry was open. I messaged my cousin in San Diego to tell him of my mad idea, as I knew he’d completed ironman events. He said go for it, and put it on social media too, because that makes you commit to it! 

‘I started cycling in the spring and went open water swimming in Cliff Lakes, taking part in an 'introduction for beginners' session. I have to admit, it wasn't easy or pleasant, I hated having freezing feet on exit from the water, but after a couple of weeks, the water began to warm and it became more pleasant. When it came to the cycling, well what can I say… it scared me to death. Potholes, traffic, gears, punctures... I was terrified of it all.

‘Race day came around quickly! I was most afraid of being pulled off the course for missing the cut-off, but unbelievably I made it to the finish line and my first words were… ‘that was incredible – I have to do that again!’

‘The adrenaline wore off and my bike sat in the garage until a few months ago, the fear resurfaced and I was scared to death of getting back out on it. But as I'd booked ironman Staffs again, I had to bite the bullet and get back in the saddle. A friend advised me to join a local triathlon club, so I joined Stafford Tri Club. Everyone was so lovely to me, reassuring me and I was glad to see some familiar faces. They told me they wouldn't leave me behind and they never did.Worrying and stressing less and less each ride, my confidence grew and I got a bit faster too."

Once again, Staffs 70.3 2017 came around too soon! I was happy with my swim time, hopped on my bike and was pleased with my speed until 25miles in... I heard an almighty BANG and my tyre blew! I felt like crying, thinking my race was over! Trying not to lose my head and focusing on fixing the bike, as opposed to looking for the sweeper I got it sorted and back on the road."

‘I saw my local, the Yorkshireman in sight, and couldn't believe I’d made it this far, so much support there. I told a pal I’d had a puncture but was ok, hoping she would pass the message on to family, who would be worried about where I was." 

"I got off my bike and ran into T2. Again, assuming I would have missed cut-off, not the case, I was allowed to continue. The run was incredibly hot, but once I knew cut-off was 8 and a half hours, I decided to take it steady. Just recovering from Shingles (diagnosed 2 weeks previous to the event). With no time to beat, I was going to look after myself and get back safely, but in time!"

‘The support at the feed stations was incredible! I loved the Stafford Tri station because they were so very happy to see me and they encouraged me, I loved all the families out in the streets with hoses and buckets of water, pouring it over our heads and down our backs. I could see my daughter Grace and my mum, she hugged me at the start of the finish chute and I said ‘I actually can't believe I'm here, I can't believe I made it to here!’ My eyes filled and my arms hit the air, the run to the finish was the best feeling in the world, I did it!"

‘I love my TRI friends, they are all incredible and have supported me so much. I’d encouraged anyone to give it a go. GO TRI is a fantastic place to start, and I’ve recently talked my husband and business partner, into doing a GO TRI event, and they are now considering longer TRI events.’  

Inspired by Susan’s story and wanting to give TRI a go? Visit to find GO TRI training sessions and events near you.

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