Professional triathlete Ellie Salthouse is no stranger to dedication and commitment in sport. Taking up triathlon at the age of 11, the fifteen time Middle Distance Champion from Brisbane, Australia has been delivering sizzling triathlon performances across the world in recent years. Already this year she has had a clean sweep of wins from her six race starts and she is not finished racing for the season yet.
Splitting her time between her home in Australia and her adopted home in Boulder, Colorado the former ITU athlete and Youth Olympic Silver Medalist almost gave up on the sport when she fell out of love with it, taking 6 months away completely to pursue other interests. But it wasn’t long before her love of the sport and all it embodies saw her return with that burning desire to be the best in the world even stronger than ever. Seeking the help and coaching support of Siri Lindley who soon oversaw Ellie’s pivot to middle distance racing, she has been paving her way to the top step of a World Championship podium ever since.
The vivacious 28 year old has her eyes firmly on the World Championship prize and with the IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds taking place in St. George Utah this month, the podium is within touching distance for the steely determined athlete. Salthouse by name and salt of the earth by nature, the future is bright for this sparkling athlete.
British professional triathlete Fenella Langridge took to professional racing like a duck to water in 2018 exploding onto the scene with five podium finishes in seven races including her first professional title at IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh.
Sam Laidlow is a young, hungry, ambitious and successful professional triathlete who has some serious goals and aspirations in sport including winning the IRONMAN World Championships. He will be the youngest professional athlete at 22 years of age on the startline in Kona this year earning his slot at IRONMAN UK last month.
Lydia Dant from Team Passion Fit was the women’s champion of IM 70.3 Staffordshire two weeks ago, just prior to that Lydia won the Outlaw Half in Nottingham by just 29 seconds. The accomplished age group athlete had been dabbling in bikes and bike racing for a while before picking up a bit of swimming and running in 2013 which saw her dipping her toes into triathlon. She had mixed results over the next two years, study, work and life getting in the way of any major triathlon training and sporting ambitions. That is of course until she decided to tackle IRONMAN Wales in 2018 as a route to getting back to structured training and embracing the sporting lifestyle she had enjoyed previously.
It was joining Team Passion Fit in 2018 that her journey as a triathlete really started to take shape and notably her ability and tenacity as an athlete began to shine through. Her results speak for themselves in recent years with a 7th overall in IM 70.3 Weymouth in 2018, 1st in her age group at IM 70.3 Staffordshire in 2019 a 14th place overall result. Racing at the IM 70.3 World Championships in Nice in 2019 she was 17th in her age group, she finished 1st in her age group at IM 70.3 Lanzarote in 2019 and has taken the top step of the podium at the Cotswold 113, The Westonbirt Duathlon and the Chilly Duathlon.
Coupled with the overall wins at Outlaw and IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire recently the phoenix is most definitely rising as she embraces her life in sport not only as an athlete but as a business woman and proud owner of Phoenix Evolution Bike Fitting Consultancy.
Padraig Marrey from Mayo is a name synonymous with cycling not only in Mayo and Ireland but further afield. Padraig lives, breathes and embraces cycling from one end of the day to the other. From racing and race directing, bike packing to coaching, committees and volunteering he’s done it all and is one of the most committed advocates and ambassadors for the sport of cycling that you will ever come across. So much so you rarely see Padraig without a bike of some sort attached whilst he is telling you about the latest plan, challenge or initiative he is involved with.
As a youngster his bike was his mode of transport to get to school and his swimming lessons, the thrill of adventure and opportunity for fun started him on a journey for life that would see him start bike racing at the tender age of 14 in 1987 when Stephen Roche won the Tour De France. A high performer in sport across boxing, running and rugby it was down the cycling path where Padraig really followed his passion for sport both as an athlete and coach.
He raced The Rás in Ireland 12 times within a 30 year period, raced abroad for a period of time, holds multiple race titles and coaching accolades, is a race director for triathlon and cycling events and has recently completed an off road Everesting Challenge on the side of Croagh Patrick with some fellow cycling enthusiasts in Mayo. In addition to this he won Gaelforce in 2010 and was the All Ireland adventure race champion in 2011, the list of accolades and achievements are vast and diverse, his versatility as an athlete evident in his success in sport.
In some ways, the bigger and more obscure the challenge the greater the excitement for Padraig, however in 2014, Padraig faced his biggest challenge of them all.. a fight for life. Thankfully he has come out the other side of this challenge and continues to inspire, encourage and motivate the people around him and beyond, young and old to enjoy the life long skill of cycling and all its joys and jubilations.
He has a string of wins to his name including fastest overall amateur at IRONMAN Lanzarote in 2019 which saw him finish 11th overall on the day, as well as multiple age group wins at IRONMAN UK before breaking the tape as the overall winner in 2019. Racing in Kona six times he has had some super results on the Big Island in Hawaii, his most recent in 2019 saw him finish in 9:02. This Sunday Brian toes the line of the Supersapiens IRONMAN UK, eager to deliver a performance that will see him on the podium with his ticket stamped for Kona once again.
Brian gives us some insight in this episode to his journey in sport, from his days as a footballer to a keen marathon runner before taking up triathlon and excelling in the sport. It hasn’t been plain sailing for Brian to get to where he is today but with courage and commitment he has embraced the opportunity to be the best athlete he can be all whilst balancing a busy work and home life, in his own words ‘ exercise is my drug’
It was a rollercoaster start in life for Kim as she underwent open heart surgery at just three years of age at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, however her fighting spirit and competitive ambition from an early age has seen her enjoy much success in sport both as a field hockey player and now as a professional triathlete.
As an age group triathlete she quickly excelled in the sport winning the 25-29 Age Group at the 2014 World Triathlon Championships in Kitzbuhel Austria. Stepping into the world of professional racing she claimed her first title at IM 70.3 Buenos Aires in 2016 and also finished on the podium at IM 70.3 Staffordshire and IM 70.3 Sweden in the same year.
Since then she has been on the podium at a variety of IM 70.3 races, raced multiple full distance races including the IRONMAN World Championships in 2019 where she finished 26th. She has already stamped her ticket for the IM 70.3 Worlds in Utah this year and for Kona, so there are an exciting few months ahead for the Norfolk based athlete.
Already in 2021 Kim has claimed silver in the National TT Circuit Championships in the UK, in addition to this she had a 5th place finish at IM 70.3 Texas and an 8th place at IM Tulsa and also finished 5th at the Lake Dorney Triathlon last weekend in a stacked field featuring some of the UK’s top female professional triathletes.
Kimberley’s sporting success continues to rise, with her positive attitude, great perspective, tenacity and passionate focus on being the best athlete she can be, I expect we will see her on many a podium over the years to come with a number of bike and race course records added to her name in the process.
Keith’s running journey started in 2016 with his daughter Alanna, running the Dublin Marathon with her in 2017, capturing and captivating the hearts of the nation as they completed the event together with Keith pushing Alanna in her chair over the 26.2 mile distance. Tragically Alanna passed away unexpectedly just a few weeks later, however, Keith continues to run in her honour and her memory. He embraced running with Alanna and now has pushed beyond what he ever thought possible by taking on some mammoth Ultra Running Events. It wasn’t an easy road to running success for Keith in fact he hit rock bottom after Alanna passed away before he began to pick up the pieces of his life again and realise that he had a reason to not only survive but to thrive. Running is his recovery and his therapy on a road that has hit some heart breaking obstacles and challenges. But Keith is not afraid of these obstacles he now faces as a runner, in fact he embraces them, the bigger and tougher the better for the man from Navan who was a participant in RTE’s Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week in 2019, he has his eyes set on success at the Marathon Des Sables in the future and Big’s Backyard Last One Standing World Final in Tennessee this October, just don’t ask him to get back on a rowing machine anytime soon!
Aoife is a proud member of Eagle A.C. and has represented the club over a multitude of distances from 5km to marathon. In her late teens Aoife attended Arkansas Tech University on an athletics scholarship and showed great promise as a junior athlete, representing Ireland in the Euro XC in 2005. Unfortunately, injury prevented her from reaching her full athletic potential at that time.
Coming home to Ireland, she took time to recover, rebuild and reignite a love of running. A New Year’s resolution to run the Cork City Marathon in 2015 paved the way for her to commence her marathon running journey which has seen her return to the top step of the podium and build on her achievements in running. With some key race successes, coupled with changes to her career and her training in recent years, Aoife Cooke has run her way into the history books and has ambitious and exciting plans to excel even further in her chosen sport of marathon running.
This was a fun chat with Aoife, her humility and positivity shines through in this episode, we get some incredible insight to her journey in sport and once again are reminded that our dreams and goals are never too far out of reach with courage, commitment and a desire to succeed.