Story of a First Timer

Tara Lennon – Clarence Valley Tri Club

I am relatively new to the sport of Triathlon. After the birth of my second son in 2016 I decided that I was going to do a triathlon, which was a big call.

I wasn’t a swimmer, had never been on a road bike and hadn’t run more than short bursts around the netball court.

I picked out a Tempta distance event and set my goal to complete this race. I began to train whenever I could manage it around a toddler and baby. I started running between 1km – 3kms and slowly built up to 5kms. I purchased a bike and figured out how to change gears and began riding when I could. I also started swimming at the local pool and enlisted lots of help to teach me how to correct my very poor technique.

I attended a Clarence Valley Triathlon Club event and was kindly greeted and supported through my first race, a half distance club race (250m swim, 10km ride and 2.5km run). After that I was hooked.

I completed my goal Tempta race at Robina QLD and met some amazing women, who I still keep in contact with. I will never forget their support and help when I was clearly looking lost inside transition. There is no feeling like crossing that finish line, and each time I complete a race I think I can do more! Kingscliff Triathlon in 2017 was my first Sprint distance. I was not a confident open water swimmer, so the swim was daunting and at times I did breaststroke to see where I was going and calm myself down. But I got through it and wanted more.

In 2018 I completed my first standard distance race in Coffs Harbour, completed the Cairns 70.3, qualified as an age group athlete for the 2018 ITU World Championships and raced against amazing athletes from around the world. I also got my first win at the 2018 Yamba Triathlon and backed it up with a second place in Kingscliff. As always, the urge to push myself further took over and my next goal was the 2020 Ironman Australia… unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans.

Through triathlon I have made amazing friendships, become a great role model to my young sons, put my health and fitness first and learnt that I can achieve anything.

I will never forget the butterflies I had in my stomach as I stood at the start line, the support of the other athletes, the cheering from all the supporters, seeing the excitement in my boys faces and hearing “Go Mum” as I reached the finish line for the very first time. If you have ever thought “I can’t do that” you’re wrong! Get involved in a great weekend, set yourself a goal, feel the support of our community and try your first triathlon at the Yamba Tri.

Contact me if you want help with where to start or to connect with other people trying a tri for the first time. Always happy to help and excited to see more of the local community participating in this great event.

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