"Talent Backer has allowed me to take the chance to compete in a lifetime opportunity race, and realise a dream along the way"
"Talent backer has allowed me to take the chance to compete in a lifetime opportunity race, and realise a dream along the way. It was such an amazing experience, so many people showing support in different ways. Extra fuel to get the training done when it gets hard and make sure I get to the start line in the best shape I can. I would recommend it without doubt”
Wow, what an amazing experience this has been! Overwhelmed by the support from family, friends and total strangers, every share, like and of course donation means I hit my target with 4 days to go! Thank you all so much, my dream to race at the Norseman is alive thanks to your kindness, training is the easy bit when you realise how many people are behind you :). Huge thanks again everyone!
I have been selected to race as an elite at the infamous Norseman Extreme Triathlon in Norway. One of only 15 athletes selected from around the world.
It is the hardest Iron Distance triathlon in the world and finishes at the top of Norway's highest mountain, Gaustatoppen.
The money raised will be going towards travel, accommodation and expenses for me and my support crew to make it possible for me to race.
I only came into the sport of triathlon in 2012 from a mountaineering/climbing background. I had always wanted to try the sport and after a climbing injury in 2011 I decided to make it happen. I searched around for an inspiring race and found the Norseman, I knew that one day I would have to race it. The mountains are my passion and racing in them is just another way to enjoy the experience.
My first triathlon was the Celtman Extreme, a race in the highlands of Scotland that involves mountainous terrain, a 200km bike and cold swim. I came 20th in this race, loved it and have not looked back since! I also knew I had discovered a talent within myself and made the decision to fully commit to training for and one day racing the Norseman.
Since then I have gone on the represent Northern Ireland for mountain running in 2013 and 2014, finished second at the 2014 Celtman (finishing inside the old course record by 8mins) and won the Wasdale Half Iron distance triathlon, the hardest race of its kind in the world.
The races I specialize in are not eligible for funding of any sort, so as you can imagine this chance to race in Norway presents a challenge. To take part in the race you need a support crew of two people and this obviously increases the cost of the trip. Without funding I will probably not be able to race.
I work full time as a sales assistant in a climbing shop and train 15-20hrs a week in the hills where I live in Ambleside. I am fully committed to training for the Norseman triathlon and my other seasons goals, so understandably don't have much time for anything else!
My main goals for this season are the Celtman and Norseman Extreme triathlons. After finishing second at the Celtman this year I do not mind saying I will be trying to go one better this year. I expect a deeper and stronger field for the Norseman so a top 5 finish here would be a dream goal.
In the longer term, I would like to return to the Norseman in 2016, with another years training and racing under my belt as a contender to win. I believe this is possible for me but may require a switch to full time training and a little less work. Racing this year is a crucial piece on the way to achieving this dream and the reason I made the decision to ask for help.
1st place- Wasdale Triathlon 2014, hardest half iron distance triathlon in the world.
2nd place- Celtman Extreme Triathlon 2014, finishing inside the course record.
2nd place- High Terrain Events off road duathlon series 2013/14, after consistent results over 4 races.
5th place- Coniston Standard Distance triathlon 2014.
3rd Place- Wasdale Triathlon 2013
20th place- Celtman Extreme triathlon 2012, my first ever triathlon.
I have also been proud to represent Northern Ireland for mountain running in 2013 and 14. This year I raced the World Long Distance Champs, on Pikes Peak in Colorado. An extreme race too the top of a mountain finishing at over 14,000ft, uphill only.
I knew that one day I would have to do this race, it was a dream at the time and I did not know how long it would take but I have worked hard and now have the chance to realise it.
I still can't quite believe I have been picked as one of only 15 athletes worldwide for an elite spot but I think this shows just how hard I have worked in this short space of time and the talent I have. Life has not always been easy for me and it has taken a never give up attitude to get me to where I am today.
I intend to grab this chance with both hands, its a once in a lifetime opportunity and I hope that with your help I will be able to take it.