Melissa Urie is only the second women (and first Australian woman) to complete the Epic 5, an (appropriately named) event consisting of 5 Ironman distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian Islands over 5 days. That’s 224km / 140 miles of swimming, riding and running every day for 5 days.
In this conversation, we discuss how she fits her training into her life, why she wanted to do such a seemingly "impossible" event in the first place, her strategies for dealing with the heat, how you inspire people around you often without realising it and how being mentally strong can help you achieve things you shouldn’t, in theory, be physically able to accomplish.
Even if you aren’t involved in triathlons, I have no doubt you’ll learn from and be inspired by Mel’s experience.
Stef Hanson is a triathlete and the Founder of Witsup (Women in Triathlon) - an online and real life community for women in triathlon. Established in 2012, the mission for witsup.com is to break down the barriers of entry for women to the sport but also to give women in the sport the recognition they deserve (at a time when women’s sports is often relegated to a few sentences).
Normally the interviewer, I turn the tables on Stef and share her journey. We discuss how we are all prone to worry about what other people think (despite how confident we might otherwise be), why women’s sports has such a low profile (and what Stef is doing to change that), Stef’s struggle with adrenal fatigue in recent years as well as the importance of looking after yourself, switching off and recharging your batteries. Even if you aren’t interested in triathlons, you’ll enjoy this conversation.
Beth White is a mother of 3, remedial massage therapist and the 2016 ITU Paratriathlon World Champion in the PT1 category.
Beth began losing her sight from the age of 5. Misdiagnosed most of her life, it has only been in recent years she has discovered she has a rare genetic condition (so rare, it does not yet have a name) with numerous symptoms including vision impairment and an inability to sweat. Sadly Beth’s 3 children have inherited the condition and each is slowly losing their sight too.
Beth has thrown herself into her triathlon and is on a mission to raise funds, awareness but also inspire people with her story. She has gone on to win 2 medals at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships; Silver in Chicago in 2015 and Gold in Rotterdam in 2016.
In this interview we talk about the practicalities of triathlon as a visually impaired athlete, how the reward of pushing through your fear is always worth it, the “mother guilt” she experiences, how she isn’t brave or courageous, just determined and the importance of trusting your gut intuition and believing in yourself.
Laura Siddall is a professional triathlete with a difference. With her gap year spent as an Officer in the British Army and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she only discovered triathlon in her late 20s. Laura quickly made up for lost time by winning 4 x Age Group World Championships over various distances in just 4 years.
In this interview we talk about the doubt she struggled with after making the decision to turn professional (and how it affected her results for the first few years), why it’s important not to make assumptions or judgements on a day-to-day basis about your training and why you shouldn’t check your watch when you finish the swim leg in a triathlon (hint: anything behind your ears is irrelevant).