After moving down to Brighton, it was time to finally get round to giving a triathlon a go and for Jenny Wallace, she’s achieved so much more than she could ever have imagined.
‘I moved down to Brighton last year for my first job as a newly qualified doctor. I'd been thinking about doing a triathlon for a while but hadn't got round to it whilst I'd been at uni. I played a lot of football as a student but didn't want to commit to a team sport now I was working. Joining a triathlon club seemed the perfect compromise as you get the support and fun of being in a club but when it comes to training and racing you are out there for yourself. If you don't fancy training then you're not letting anyone down. I got in touch with Brighton Tri Club a month after moving down and it all took off from there.
Joining Bri Tri was one of my best decisions. I loved training with them from the start - everyone was incredibly friendly and supportive. There's a wealth of knowledge and experience in the club and everyone is so generous and willing to share their expertise.
I trained hard over the winter and come race season in May I was ready and raring to go. My first race was a Sprint Tri in Steyning. The Bri Tri supporters were out in full force... I had a great race even if my debut didn't go completely smoothly (highlights including being unable to clip into my bike pedals, coming out of T1 in front of the heckling Bri Tri crowd and limboing the transition racks when coming back through T2 because I'd forgotten where my spot was. I came in 2nd, 20 secs behind the winner and I couldn't have been happier.
Six weeks later and my next race was a big step up ... I'd been on a training camp in Mallorca with Bri Tri earlier in the year and after a few beers we'd hatched a plan to try and qualify for the ITU Age Group World Championships in Mexico. Eton Dorney was my qualifying race. It was also my first wetsuit open water swim. It was tough, but I had a good race and 3rd place in my age group was enough to earn a spot on the GB Age Group team.
Racing in Mexico in a GB kit, just over a year after joining Bri Tri, was easily one of the highlights of my year. I just never imagined when I joined the club that racing at this level would be achievable for me. It can be busy to fit in training around work, especially with on calls, but if you're flexible and motivated you can find the time and if you're consistent with your training you'll make improvements. The great thing about triathlons is that it's all about your personal goals and seeing progress in your own performance - it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. Triathlon has been such a game changer for me - I'm fitter than I've ever been, training is a brilliant distraction from the stresses of work and I've made some fantastic friends through Brighton Tri Club. I'd recommend having a go at a triathlon to everyone - you never know where it might end up taking you!’