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By Joanne Murphy

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Shane Williams is a household name in sport worldwide, the former Welsh International rugby player is regarded as one of the greatest wingers and players of all time. With 87 caps for his country and multiple British and Irish Lions tour appearances it is no wonder he is a World Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee and a winner of the World Rugby Player of the Year award. Embedded in sport for most of his life, when he retired from professional rugby in 2015 his love and passion for sport continued but took him in a very different direction.

Credit: Huw Fairclough/IRONMAN

Taking part in his first marathon in 2015, it wasn’t long before the Welshman became captivated with endurance sport, in particular triathlon and more specifically with IRONMAN. Somewhat cajoled into taking on his first ever IRONMAN, he didn’t have far to travel to take on his first full distance race at IRONMAN Wales in Tenby, which he has gone on to complete five times, first hearing the words Shane Williams You are an IRONMAN, in 2015.

It may come as a surprise to hear that on an IRONMAN Wales race morning he is more nervous than lining up to play for Wales in the Principality Stadium. But, the goosebumps and passion he feels as he hears the Welsh National Anthem resound on North Beach in Tenby is one that fills him full of the same pride, excitement and emotion he had as a professional rugby player and, when the gun goes he is more than ready, willing and able to race.

A high achiever in sport and competitive by nature, he is as passionate today about triathlon as he was for rugby during his playing days.  Always looking to get the best out of himself and his performance in sport, life and in business, triathlon has opened up a whole new world for Shane Williams, and in his own words says ’I’m hooked, it makes me feel so good’.


Credit: Huw Fairclough/ IRONMAN


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British triathlete Ben Goodfellow took up triathlon in 2017, since then he has gone from strength to strength in the sport. In 2022 he had an incredible year of success, winning IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire outright, he was the overall age group winner at IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea before being crowned the Mens 25-29 Age Group World Champion at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Utah last October.

Stepping up to full distance racing at IRONMAN UK in Bolton last year he finished in 4th place on debut at the distance. This year he moves from age group athlete into the professional ranks aiming to debut as a professional athlete at IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire in June.  He will continue to work fulltime as an engineer for the foreseeable future whilst he also pursues his passion for sport.

Prior to racing across the IRONMAN events in the UK last year, Ben had racked up a series of super results in recent years.  In 2021 he was the British Standard Distance Duathlon Champion, Helvellyn Triathlon Winner and Welsh Middle Distance Champion, his success coming on the back of his commitment and dedication to being the best athlete he can possibly be.

Although he was sporty as a child, as he moved through his teens he left sport behind in favour of time in the virtual world and in his own words became  addicted to gaming.  Enjoying and embracing his gaming a little too much, it was in his final year of university that he ditched the virtual world for reality and has risen steadily in the sport of triathlon.

Coached by Nathan Forde as part of Team NFT, Ben’s star continues to rise and I expect we will see a lot more success as Ben navigates through the world of professional sport.  Watch this space!

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British Professional triathlete Indie Lee recently kickstarted her 2023 season with a podium finish at IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote finishing in second place, securing her slot for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland later this year.

No stranger to podiums or winning races, Indie is a three time IRONMAN 70.3 Champion, taking the win in Weymouth in her first outing at middle distance racing in 2018, she went on to defend her title in 2019 after breaking the tape at IRONMAN 70.3 Finland earlier in the season. Since switching her focus from sprint and olympic distance racing to middle distance racing she has found another gear that has seen her continue to excel as a professional triathlete. Racing her first IRONMAN in Israel last year she finished in sixth place which considering her short turn around after the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Utah in October was an even more impressive result than at first glance.

Indie has been immersed in sport from a young age with running most definitely on her radar, her early success in sport saw her move to the US on a college scholarship to pursue her passion for sport. It is triathlon that she has now found as her sport of choice, having raced successfully as an age group and elite athlete, the 2016 European Triathlon Champion has gone from strength to strength as she has journeyed through the sport of triathlon as a professional athlete.

This is a super chat with Indie who shares great insight into her career, her struggle at times with her own self belief and confidence all whilst embracing a career that she simply loves. Indie has an exciting future in sport ahead of her, watch this space as she continues to rise to achieve her goals in life and sport.

Photo Credit Huw Fairclough/ IRONMAN


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Paddy McLaughlin of has embraced a life in triathlon and sport as both his profession and his passion. Working in sport and fitness for over 20 years with a variety of qualifications, he is a Level 3 Coach, a physical therapist, Bikefit® and Gebiomized qualified Bike fitter and an athlete who has tackled some of the toughest triathlon races in the world.

Not shy of taking on a challenging race he has completed multiple extreme events including the CELTMAN on three occasions,  he finished with a black jersey in the Norseman and has also taken part in The Brutal Xtreme Triathlons.

Paddy has completed over 20 full distance triathlons including multiple IRONMAN events, was the winner of the Irish Double IRONMAN in 2013 and as well as completing four marathons in four days around the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal, he took part in the first edition of The Race Around Ireland in 2009.

Sport has been in his life from a young age from karate, kickboxing and rugby to triathlon, he is passionate about sport not only as an athlete himself but in supporting his coached athletes achieve their goals and potential, it is no surprise that he was Triathlon Ireland Coach of the Year in 2015.

Shying away from the spotlight generally, he is not afraid of pushing himself outside of his comfort zone when it comes to participating in sport himself or setting lofty goals and challenges that push him physically and mentally all the way to the finish line.


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Tricia Strelioff from Canada has spent the last 20 years in Ireland embracing a life in sport.  A chartered physiotherapist working out of her practice, Maple Motion Chartered Physiotherapy in Galway, she has embraced many adventures over the years through her love of cycling and triathlon.

With her appetite for a challenge and travel, she took up triathlon just before she turned 40 and has raced at five IRONMAN events and a multitude of middle distance races since then. She makes a conscious effort to rarely return to the same place for a race, always seeking new locations to explore and enjoy. She recently raced at IRONMAN 70.3 Oman, finishing third in her age group stamping her ticket to race at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Finland in August of this year.

Photo Credit: IRONMAN

Triathlon and indeed cycling is a huge part of her life, the friends she has amassed over the years through sport becoming her tribe and a very important ingredient in her success in sport and beyond.  With her vibrant, energetic personality and can-do attitude you cannot but be motivated to keep moving forward, chasing and achieving goals when in Tricia’s company.

This is a great episode of the podcast, slightly different to many of our other episodes but the perfect guest choice to celebrate International Women’s Day

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Irish Olympian and World Champion Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has been blazing a trail in gymnastics since first taking up the sport as a young boy, and despite the lure of swimming and football, he knew from an early age that gymnastics was the sport that would capture his heart and his mind.

He has had huge success in the sport and his star continues to rise as he performs intricate, technical and fast paced routines on the pommel horse.  With a trophy cabinet bursting at the seams he was Ireland’s first gymnast to win medals at European and World level and to reach an Olympic final.

Some of his key achievements include; becoming World Champion on the pommel horse and winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year.  In 2021 he competed in his first Olympic Games in Tokyo finishing seventh in the final. Prior to that Rhys has won bronze in the World Championships in Germany and won Gold at the World Cup in Slovenia in 2019. In 2018 he became European Champion and Commonwealth Champion.  In 2016 as a junior gymnast he won the first European Championship medal in history for Ireland, taking silver on the pommel horse at the Junior European Gymnastics Championship.

Based in Dublin, Rhys along with his coach Luke Carson, have one golden goal in mind over the coming months, that is winning gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.  At 24 years old Rhys is determined, committed and dedicated to his craft, his love of gymnastics and passion for success driving him to strive every single day to be the best gymnast he can possibly be.


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Caitriona Jennings, the Donegal native who now lives in Hong Kong represented Ireland in the Marathon at the 2012 Olympics. With a passion for sport coursing through her veins from a young age with swimming and triathlon her choice of sports during her early years before coming to excel at running, she has amassed a wealth of success in sport.

Ten years on from the London Olympics she has certainly come into her own as a force to be reckoned with over ultra distance running as one of the best Ultra Marathon runners in the World. Securing the bronze medal in the IAU 100km World Championships last year she also added a gold in the 50km European Championship to her name. She completed her 100km race in 7.07.16 and set a new national record for the distance whilst also setting a new 50 mile record too!  She has previously finished on the podium in third place at the Comrades Marathon, the ultimate Human race and hopes to go as well if not better at this event in 2023.  In June 2021 she won the Anglo Celtic Plate at Mondello Park with an impressive 7.43.01 in the 100km race.

In addition to her Ultra Running success, Caitriona has also racked up the wins and podium finishes at the marathon distance, breaking the tape at the 2022 Great Limerick Run she also finished third at the Hong Kong Marathon in 2021 and has over the years secured multiple national titles across a range of running distances.

By her own self admission, it took Caitriona a long time to get over her performance in London, where she endured a stress fracture during the race, despite the injury it is no doubt her grit, determination and inner drive to succeed saw her cross the finish line on the day.  Her finish time was far from where she had hoped or expected, but it’s that steely determination, unwavering focus and commitment to her craft that has seen her take ultra running in her stride and deliver results that 10 years ago she couldn’t even have imagined.  This is a super episode of the podcast with a shining star that I have no doubt will continue to excel for many years in the sport she loves.

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Kerry native Ellen Vitting has in recent years embraced and excelled in the world of ultra endurance sport.  From her early interest in rowing, to running and triathlon, she now is an avid and successful adventure racer, mountain and ultra endurance runner.

Winner of the 2022 Seven Sisters Skyline in Donegal covering 55 kilometres and 4,000 metres of climbing in a time of 8:37:20 she won the race with a thirty six minute gap over her nearest rival.  She was also the winner of the 200km Kerry Way Ultra and was also one of only three participants out of twenty eight in the fourth season of RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week who passed the gruelling week-long test of mental and physical endurance.  In addition to a successful year in 2022, she won the National Adventure Race Series in 2021 and in 2018 she was the Triathlon Ireland National Series Winner.

The mum of two now back home in Kerry after a decade of living in Meath lives in the foothills of the Kerry Way, the perfect training ground for the athlete who loves to push the boundaries of her comfort zone and relishes the opportunity to compete at the best of her ability. At the time the podcast was being recorded the Art O’Neill Challenge was on the horizon, Ellen went on to win the 2023 edition of the arduous running and hiking challenge defending her 2022 title in style, kick starting her season this year on the top of the podium!

With an appetite for adventure and success in sport and in life, a steely determination and herself confessed stubbornness, I expect we will see many more podiums and wins for Ellen Vitting in the future!


Photo Credit: Quest Ireland


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Twin sisters and para triathletes Judith and Chloe MacCombe represented Northern Ireland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Chloe became the first Irish triathlete to win a championship medal at the Games taking home a silver medal, meanwhile sister Judith finished in fourth place in a hard fought battle in Birmingham.

Racing with their respective guides Anne Paul and Catherine Sands the girls had some great results in 2022.  Some highlights for Chloe include; 2nd at A Coruña Para Cup in June and 4th place at the Turkey Para Cup in October, rounding out her season with a 5th place finish at the Abu Dhabi World Championship in November.  Judith was 1st in The National Championship in May, 3rd at A Coruña Para Cup in June and 4th at the Alhandra Para Cup in September.

The sisters have a form of albinism which affects their vision but does not affect their commitment or dedication to their chosen sport. Taking up triathlon only a few years ago they have gone from strength to strength. Having participated in sport from a young age in Karate and then in para rowing whilst at University, the sisters have found their forever sport in para triathlon and are giving it everything so they can to make it to the Paralympics in Paris in 2024.

They are each other’s sisters, best friends, inspirations, advocates and rivals, supporting, encouraging, inspiring and motivating each other to be the best athletes they can be, all whilst providing much inspiration to the people around them as they embark on this exciting journey in sport. This is a great episode and one in which at the end of it you will definitely be inspired to simply give something that may be out of your comfort zone a try.