Triathlon

In 2011, I trained for Ironman Lanzarote. This is well known to be the toughest Ironman on the planet for its ferocious winds, searing heat and challenging bike profile that winds its way up and down two mountains.  I placed 5th professional woman.

              erslanzabike           Lanza Run

My best performances in Xterra (off-road triathlon) were 3rd pro woman in the XTERRA EUROPEAN Tour 2010 and 9th at the XTERRA WORLD Championship 2010 in Hawaii. Placing top 10 in the World in the sport that I loved was a great feeling. Moreover, the personal achievement of swim-bike-and-running faster by almost 30-minutes compared to my winning XTERRA World amateur time 2 years before was a testament to my years of dedication and hard work.

hawaii 2010 tree

Background

IMG_0671

I am a proud English West Country girl!  My mum is a vet and my dad is a farmer so a love of the outdoors was firmly ingrained in me from day one. I was riding ponies before I could walk and it was during the years of Pony Club Tetrathlon (involving a shoot, swim, ride and run) and school field hockey matches that nurtured my competitive spirit.

Craving a physical challenge whilst studying at the University of Birmingham, I embarked on training for the London Marathon. Unfortunately however, for reasons not to be disclosed, (suffice to say, I am perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic on the dance floor!) a broken ankle put a spanner in the works. But never one to be deterred by such setbacks, I completed it a year later by finding my feet again through spinning classes with the infamous (well, in Brummie land anyway) Paul Robertshaw whom led me to the Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon Club (“BRAT”) Club… and that was that – I was hooked!

Triathlon began to become an integral part of my life during Law School and thereafter while practising as a Commercial Property Solicitor in the city of London. Exceptional diligence, drive and talent (but if I’m honest, mainly hard graft) enabled me to excel professionally, just as they have on the tri-track. Ultimately however, my passion for triathlon and determination to be the best athlete I could be was too strong to fight; it would allow no compromises. On Christmas Eve 2009, I took a leap of faith and entered the professional triathlon circuit.

I had a stellar first year as a professional in 2010 placing in the top 10 professional women in every race I entered from Xterra to middle or long distance road triathlon races.

Quick Facts

Nicknames: Crips, Curly, Bouncy Em’s, Shirley… and many, many more!
Nationality: British
Work &
Education:
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy (Dip) LSSM LSRM (2012-2013)
Professional Triathlete (2010-2011)
Commercial Property Solicitor (2005-2009)
Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course (2003-2005)
Psychology with Mathematics Bsc – 1st (2000-2003)
Why I love XTERRA: A lover of extreme, adrenalin fuelled sports, it was inevitable that I would one day race XTERRA. XTERRA is a brand name for off-road triathlon, just as Ironman is for long distance triathlon. It constitutes a 1.5km ocean or lake swim, 30km mountain bike and 11km trail run. Races take place in all corners of the globe; but the adventure is not all about the races themselves. The opportunity to become part of the triathlon family and join a community of like-minded, kind, athletic people is a huge privilege and a huge amount of fun.I was undeterred from the sport despite a horrific mountain bike crash in Whistler in 2006 where I fractured my sternum. But this moment, in retrospect, was probably the turning point for me; realising that life is too short and that the only person stopping me from living my dream was me.
Favourite Biking Trail: Kill me, Thrill Me –  Whistler, Canadakillmethrillme
My other hobbies: Anything that involves risking life or limb… horse riding, water skiing, snow skiing…
Most remembered for: Fracturing my sternum on the ditch of Whip Me Snip Me during the Loonie XC Mountain Bike Race in Whistler, Canada.
Claim to fame: Related to best cricketer that has ever lived – W.G Grace (you know, the one with the long beard).
My inspiration: The idea to race XTERRA came from a great buddy of mine, Chrissie Welly, 4 x World Ironman Champion, who encouraged and inspired me to realise that anything is possible. Encouraging a similar ethos was my coach at the time Julie Dibens, 3x 70.3 and XTERRA World Champion. Julie coached my fitness level up and gave me the confidence to race pro. And last but by no means least, my wonderful friends and family, most significantly, my mum who continues to be the booster behind my fighter jet engine!
Proudest achievements: 5th PRO at Ironman Lanzarote 2011. The most difficult bike course in the World Ironman Tour.
9th PRO at the XTERRA World Championships 2010, Hawaii.
3rd La Ruta de Los Cosquitadores 2009, Costa Rica. The toughest multi-day mountain bike stage race in the World.
3rd female team – Team Tunnel Vision including Sarah O’Bryne & me – at BC Bike Race 2007, Canada. Singletrack 7-day mountain bike stage race.finish

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