To those new to our journey, welcome along on the ride to becoming our best. We are Abi and Jamie Bedwell, two triathletes who met at a young age with a lot in common, most notably our love for sport. Fast forward through years that have included: a wedding, university degree, injuries, wins, loses, new jobs, a new home and we find ourselves having created a life perfectly suited to giving our all in our pursuit to reach the top of the Triathlon stage. Our hashtag #FuelledbyFaith represents our aspiration to create positive change, through our platform in sport, fuelled by our faith. We are grateful to Sussex Plumbing Supplies for supporting us on this journey and look forward to keeping you up to date with our progress through the 2023 season.
We begin this years’ racing calendar earlier than ever before travelling to Lanzarote in mid-March to take on Europe’s best in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon. This triathlon distance involves swimming 1.2miles, cycling 56 miles and running 13.1miles otherwise known as a half marathon. Each discipline is split by a transition which involves changing your equipment and mentally preparing yourself for what’s to come. Ironman events are the most established in the world and bring together the toughest competition. Most high level events have an amateur and professional field of athletes. There were 1200 amateur athletes competing in the Lanzarote triathlon and around 75 professional athletes. This year we are aiming to earn our “Professional racing licence” which is done by finishing within a % time of the professional winners time, the % is dependent on the prize pot on offer at the event. We both came into this race having put the miles in over the winter, battling the constantly challenging British weather conditions and finishing it off with a two week training camp in the Algarve.
We were race ready and looking forward to seeing how much we had progressed from last season. Lanzarote is known for having strong winds and race day was no different. With winds ranging from 30-40mph it was going to make both our races technically challenging as we battled the elements. Setting off approximately 10 minutes behind the professionals we recorded the fastest and second fastest swim times and were quickly onto our bikes ready to climb up into the Timanfaya national park, home to Lanzarote’s only active Volcano. As we overcame cross-winds that sadly caused others to crash out into fields full of volcanic rock we headed up to the highest point of the race, Playa Macha, before turning round and descending at speeds of over 55mph back to transition.
A quick change of footwear and we headed off, now separated as we pursued the competition around us. Training on the South Downs helps make even “Hilly” courses seem flat .. Well until the final stages when the fatigue is really setting in. The run course followed along Playa Blanca’s promenade with an off road looped section at the back end before retracing our footsteps to the finish. The winds continued to punish and ensuring we took on enough hydration and fuel was essential to getting the best out of ourselves.
As the finish line came into sight it was time to empty the tank. This is what we had been training for, hours and hours each day spent perfecting our craft, to be able to put together a four and a half hour performance that we could be proud of, coming away knowing that we had got the best out of ourselves. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming across a finish line, especially in long distance events, adrenaline, relief, the hint of cramp, and, of course, friends and family there to see you in. It can bring on all the emotions, but for us in those final moments its about taking in the experience and being thankful for the awesome opportunity we have been given.
Taking home the amateur women’s win along with a 7th place men’s finish, we were really pleased with our first race on the calendar. We now look ahead to racing in Nottingham on the 21st of May, the next opportunity, the next experience, to be our best.