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Triathlete Annie Brooks from the UK was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2012, in 2014 she completed her first triathlon and in October 2023 conquered the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona crossing the finish line like a boss with the biggest smile on her face.

Annie’s journey in sport and in life is one of resilience, determination and courage, her positivity and passion for life and triathlon spills over through her bubbly personality despite the challenges and obstacles her health can put in her way.

With stress and fatigue a key factor in triggering an epileptic fit it is a wonder she is able to get to the start line of a race in once piece, fit and ready to tackle the swim, bike and run adventure that lies ahead, never mind get herself to the finish line of the most iconic IRONMAN race in the world in Kona.

This really is an inspiring chat with Annie, who shares a snippet of her life, living and thriving with a hidden disability, one that when it strikes, and it can strike at any time, can be so debilitating, frustrating and cause havoc to her daily living, never mind her training for triathlon which she simply does for fun and because she loves it.

It was my sister Michelle who asked me to get Annie as a guest on the podcast after Kona, she herself inspired and in awe of Annie’s ability to live her life to the full despite her epilepsy. For those of you who don’t know, Michelle has had epilepsy since her early teens and coupled with her cerebral palsy and the nature of her epilepsy can struggle to live life to the full.  For Michelle and I think for many of us, Annie offers a beacon of hope into what is possible if you can find the adaptations to enable you to thrive despite your own individual challenges and when you find the sport or activity that ignites such a passion in you, it can help you to pursue a life brimming with fun and adventure.

If you enjoy this episode and want to follow Annie’s upcoming adventures go to her website www.talesofanniebean.com you can also follow her on Instagram @itsanniebean

 

Photo Credit: IRONMAN
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Lucy Gossage, Nikki Bartlett and Bex Milnes share wonderful insight into Lucy’s recent remarkable Montane Spine Race achievement which she conquered in January of this year during one for the worst periods of weather the UK got this winter.

Professional triathlete Nikki and her partner Bex Milnes supported Lucy’s endeavours with Bex capturing images and updates of Lucy on the Pennine Way, meanwhile, Nikki turned the images and information received into an exciting socials storybook of tales from inside the race, capturing the imagination and hearts of everyone eager to follow Lucy’s progress as she embarked and conquered one of the toughest foot races in the world.

Stretching 268 miles or 431km from Edale in Derbyshire, England to the village of Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish Border on the Pennine Way, if you don’t know where that is, then get out your map and check it out.

Lucy gives us a glimpse of just what her preparation for an endeavour of this nature entailed as well as great insight into how her race unfolded, although we gloss over some of the intricate and technical aspects of the race, we still get to understand the remarkable journey undertaken by the 14 time IRONMAN Champion as she ventures beyond her comfort zone into uncharted mental and physical territory, pushing her limits to the brink to discover her true capabilities.

In this episode, Bex and Nikki share their own version of Lucy’s journey with some snippets of what it was like for them to follow the race as they closely and cautiously tracked her progress to the finishline.  As the race proceeded on the Pennine Way for Lucy, another story was unfolding behind the scenes which, when unravelled, would have heartbreaking consequences for Lucy.

Resilient and robust as she is, she faced the situation head on and began picking up the broken pieces one bit at a time as she concurrently recovered from what she had put her body and mind through to reach the finishline of the Spine Race.

As you can expect, bringing the four of us together for a chat, resulted in lots of high energy, fun and laughter, the power of sport and friendship between these three incredible women as they share their personal stories of this epic adventure will certainly put a smile on your face and I have no doubt inspire you to step well outside your comfort zone!

If you enjoy this show and want to find out more insight from Lucy about her Spine Race be sure to pop over to her website www.lucygossage.com

If you wish to support Move Against Cancer you can click on Lucy’s Just Giving page HERE and while you are here tuning into the podcast, why not check out the chats I had with Lucy (Ep 26) and Nikki (Ep 8) for the podcast in 2020 and 2019 respectively!

 

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Irish professional triathlete Aichlinn O’Reilly, set a new Irish IRONMAN record in a time of 7:59:04, finishing in 6th place at IM Western Australia in Busselton in early December of last year.

The young athlete from Mayo has been involved in the sport of triathlon on and off since he was a teenager. Moving to Perth just seven weeks before his IRONMAN race, with his committed return to the sport and his professional licence secured he is dedicated to keeping his passion for triathlon ignited and delivering performances in the sport to the best of his ability on the International stage.

 

No stranger to success in triathlon, the 2022 National Long Distance Champion has a trophy cabinet full of silverware with multiple podiums from his seasons of racing in 2017, 2018 and 2021. In 2016 he represented Ireland at European Cup Level and prior to that he represented Ireland at Junior European Cup Level in 2013 & 2014.  An accomplished cyclist some of his most notable cycling results include winner of the 2021 edition of the Wild Mayo 300k Ultra and back in 2017 he was the overall Rás Maigh Eo winner.

A graduate of University of Limerick with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, his interest in sport goes deeper than just his own performance in triathlon. In this episode we dive right into Aichlinn’s record setting race getting insight into both his training in the lead up to race day and race day itself. With his eyes set on racing on the world stage in 2024, we look forward to seeing how his season unfolds over the coming weeks and months, and if you are interested in financially supporting his journey in triathlon please do get in touch with Aichlinn directly.

 

 

 

 

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Bob Babbitt, is an icon and legend of the sport of triathlon, he fell in love with the sport when he completed his first IRONMAN in 1980 in Oahu, that day literally changed his whole life, for the better and he has never looked back.

A member of the IRONMAN Hall of Fame, USA Triathlon Hall of Fame, Co Founder of Competitor Magazine and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Bob has been involved in the sport of triathlon for almost five decades and shows no sign of stopping or hanging up his trisuit.

Host of the hugely popular Breakfast with Bob he shares the incredible stories of athletes chasing their goals and dreams providing a much loved global platform to inspire others to take up the sport he so dearly loves and has dedicated most of the past fifty years to.

 

 

Trailblazer, innovator, entrepreneur, storyteller, author and multiple IRONMAN, Bob is one of the greatest historians of our sport with a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity that sparks a flame within him,  his passion for triathlon isn’t passive, its infectious and the entertaining stories shared about his own life in sport insights from the people he has interviewed through the years and those he has helped through the Challenged Athletes Foundation are truly inspiring.

To find out more about the Challenged Athletes Foundation click HERE and to follow Bob’s Adventures and enjoy lots of great interviews on Breakfast with Bob click HERE

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British triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay last month completed a hat trick of World Titles in three years by becoming the 2023 IRONMAN World Champion, finally earning a World Title that had eluded her four times since her pro debut on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2017.

Lucy has finished in second place in Kona every time she has raced there before finally breaking the tape as the IRONMAN World Champion in a World’s best time of 8:24:31 last month, on a day that will be remembered in sporting history for many years to come for a whole host of incredible achievements by the over 2,000 women who participated in the inaugural Women’s only IRONMAN World Championship race.

Photo Credit: Holly Charles

Lucy has been on an incredible journey in sport throughout her life, an impressive and driven athlete at a young age, her sights were always set on being the best in class in her chosen sport, whether that was swimming as her first love, or triathlon where she has excelled to become one of the most loved and best triathletes in the world.

The 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, and 2022 World Triathlon Long Distance World Champion hasn’t been on an easy road to becoming a Multiple World Champion. Two major injury set-backs in recent times saw her and her team seek out in genius ways to keep her on track and ensure her journey to the IRONMAN World Championship finish line this year was not derailed but was kept firmly on track all the way to the top step of the World Championship podium.

Lucy’s rise to sports superstar is hugely inspiring, her commitment to her craft, her tenacity, focus, determination and her resilience in the face of disappointment and adversity is something one can only admire whether a fan of the sport of triathlon or not.  It’s hard not to be a fan of Lucy Charles Barclay as we follow her life’s journey in awe of her ability to continually push her mind and body to the limit in pursuit of success and achievement of her dreams.

This is a great chat with Lucy who shares incredible insight into her life and loves as she regales us with stories of her journey to the top of the world.

 

Lucy Charles-Barclay celebrates her IRONMAN World Championship Win in Kona in October. Photo Credit: Holly Charles

 

 

 

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Helen Murray is the voice behind the hugely popular podcast Inside Tri Show , she has been involved in media for many years fulfilling her goal of working for the BBC covering both the London and Rio Olympics and The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Gold Coast. She has been podcasting since 2014, going solo on her own weekly show since 2019, which has been a huge hit with her listeners across the globe.

Athlete, adventurer and all round awesome human, Helen has a special way of interacting with and interviewing people to get the best stories and most out them for her show.  It’s no surprise that away from her love of media and meeting people she has carved a career for herself that she loves as a Cancer Rehabilitation Specialist with Move Charity supporting young people who are going through a cancer journey to get back to sport and exercise.

Helen has been involved in triathlon since 2011 which has seen her take on lots of races and challenges including IRONMAN Austria and IRONMAN Wales.  Her most recent adventure saw her complete the Pan Celtic Race earlier this year.  This episode was recorded in the weeks prior to IRONMAN Wales which Helen was due to participate in last month, but unfortunately her plans got side lined through appendicitis in the days leading up to the race. She does however have big plans for 2024 across triathlon, adventure and her podcast which she talks about on the show.

This is a lovely chat with Helen who simply loves sport and loves her job! Take a listen and be uplifted, inspired and energised by her outlook on life and her tenacity and commitment to achieving her goals whether personal or professional.

 

 

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Anna Grealish is the Women in Sport and Youth Programme Lead with Triathlon Ireland, she has been involved in the sport of triathlon for many years, initially as an athlete and for the past nine years as an integral staff member of the Governing Body in Ireland. Returning to racing last year following the birth of her youngest child she shares lots of insight into her role within Triathlon Ireland and some of the many projects she has been involved with.

Coach, coach developer and a driver of change, she has worked in the area of triathlon development with clubs, schools, juniors, age group athletes and coaches to develop and grow the sport of triathlon in Ireland. Anna has been central to the development of the Tri Heroes and Tri Captains programmes for young athletes.  With a particular passion for women in sport she leads the women in sport programme for Triathlon Ireland and was elected to the Europe Triathlon Development Committee three years ago, subsequently leading on a number of European projects.

 

As an athlete Anna enjoyed a wealth of success; National Duathlon Champion in 2011, she was the 2013 winner of Hell of the West and winner of the Triathlon Ireland National Series in the same year.  Racing at home and abroad she clocked up an impressive number of podium finishes across a variety of duathlon and triathlon races over the years, her most recent podium finish was at Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon Sprint Race in May of this year.

 

Away from triathlon, Anna and her husband Máirtín have a busy household with three children, Saoirse, Jude and Annie all under 8 years of age.  Sadly in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Anna endured profound personal losses and grief, losing her mum to cancer and shortly after baby Joseph was unexpectedly stillborn at 38 weeks, both devastating losses for Anna, Máirtín and their extended families. Anna courageously shares her story with us on how she coped with the compounded trauma following the death of her mum and her baby, turning to sport and physical activity as a means of healing and dealing with the grief she experienced.

This episode may be triggering for some listeners, but Anna’s resilience and story is very powerful and may be of help to others.  

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Olympian David Gillick is the Irish 400m indoor and outdoor record holder and two time 400m European Champion who has dedicated a huge portion of his life to his sport on the running track, representing club and country on the world stage.

His sporting career as an elite athlete saw him make history when he won Ireland’s first sprint Gold Medal in 76 years at the 2005 European Indoor Championships.  He retained that title in 2007 and in 2008 he fulfilled his dream of becoming an Olympian. The following year he competed at the Berlin World Championships finishing 6th in the 400m final, fulfilling another significant goal he had set himself in sport. His successful athletics career was speckled with some disappointment and injury along the way and, when you consider the minute margins between winning a race and not winning over 400m you can only imagine the intense pressure cooker within which athletes at this level perform.

Wrapping up his career as an elite athlete in 2013, David moved from the bubble of his life as a full time athlete with all the structure, routine and training that his life involved, into the ‘real world’ and struggled to come to terms with his life beyond sport. He has openly shared his struggles with his mental health and the importance of getting back to sport for him and back to running, to what he really loves.  This October he will take on his second marathon at the Irish Life Dublin City Marathon.

Winner of Celebrity Masterchef and one of three finalists in RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week, the father of three is a two time best selling author who is passionate about sport, food, promoting a healthy body and mind and has become a vocal advocate on mental health.

This chat with David is both insightful and enjoyable as he provides a glimpse into his life in the world of sports and beyond.

 

 

Photo Credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
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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