Committee 2017

Garry Curley

Chairperson

garry I have always been into exercise and fitness for as long as I can remember. I started with MTB Trials riding, then moved to XC Biking, then strength training at the gym followed by running.

Like many of our members, I soon got bored with just a single sport and decided that Triathlon would be able to provide me the excitement and challenge I now needed. Since joining the club I have taken on more challenges that I ever thought I was capable and have made many great friends along the way. I love the continual support provided by all the committee, coaches and members, and for 2016 was given the chance to be chairman of this fantastic club.
If you have any questions regarding triathlon or Ashford Tri Club, just drop me a message and I would be more than happy to talk.

Alex Milne

Vice Chairperson & Welfare Officer

alex-m I have now been a member of the club since 2009 and on the committee since 2010 coming to the club from a running/cycling background.

Out training all year round the primary focus remains along the lines of taking part in standalone running, cycling and duathlon events to push myself to be as competitive as possible within these events.

Jim Hawkins

Secretary

jim Renowned for competing in the “toughies” of the multi-sport world – Jim is the only ATC club member to have completed the infamous “Helvellyn Tri” twice – how mad is that!!!

Other events include Ironman Wales in 2012 and completing the Jurassic Coast Challenge in 2015, Jim also manages the more sedate role of Secretary.

Mark Fairbrother

Treasurer

mark My main role on the committee is to protect the financial health of our club, ensuring that we utilise our funds appropriately and for the benefit of all our members.

On a personal note, I have been with the club a little over 18 months having felt I needed a challenge beyond running marathons. Like many of us my journey into Triathlon began with swim lessons with Ruth, culminating into the E.G sprint race last year. Since then I have pushed myself up the distances and face my biggest challenge yet in June 2015, IM Austria!
If this club provides you with 10% of the enjoyment I get then I guarantee you will love every aspect of triathlon and your fellow club members.
Enjoy, keep pushing yourself and stay safe

Adey Porter

Membership Secretary

adey After a year or so getting fed up with looking at the same 4 walls in my local Gym, I decided I wanted to do a Triathlon. (As you do!) So at the beginning of 2014 I went along to the JRS and attended one of Sally’s fantastic coached running sessions.

Everyone was so friendly and supportive I hardly noticed the hailstones that were stuck to my running top! I soon joined the club and completed 4 Tris in my first year including the incredible team relays.

I can’t begin to describe how supportive, friendly, non-judgemental everyone in the club is. There’s always someone ready to give advice on technique, races to enter, train with, lend or even sometimes donate kit & equipment. We really are one big happy family. Still not convinced?

Drop me an email and I will point you in the direction of a training session so you can see for yourself. You may even end up in an ATC selfie!

Lee Gladwell

Men’s Captain

lee After 14 years of laziness, I rediscovered exercise in 2010 and am now well and truly addicted to triathlons. I love the buzz that racing gives you, so tend to race a lot rather than training. Despite coming competely last in my first event I’m now progressing nicely and am looking forward to going further and faster in the future.

The beauty of the sport and the club is the inclusive nature of it. There are always people to support and train with you, no matter what level you are at. Since taking up the sport and joining the club the changes, both physically and mentally have been massive. The positivity you gain through taking part in this brilliant sport transcend through to general life and have certainly made me a much happier and more fulfilled person. I have entered into an Ironman in 2012, so am going to have to concentrate a bit more training but I’m sure I’ll be at lots of the local races this year.

Sally Aspital

Ladies Captain

Sally I would describe myself as more far more competitive than I ever am competent. I joined the club in my first year of triathlon in 2009. Previous to starting in triathlon I had never done any real sports since school and could barely run 5km. I progressed slowly, spent years without being brave enough to be clipped in on the bike and learning to swim properly. I started with sprints, then standard distances and in 2014, with the help of the club, I unbelievably completed The Outlaw, my fist ironman distance triathlon in 14 and a half hours. My main target race for 2016 is Ironman Vichy although I will be busy trying to defend my Sprint and Standard Distance ATC Championships titles that I won last year. My ethos is ‘you are far more capable than you think you are’ and I am very keen to help anyone start in triathlon, no matter what current level of ability, as you never know where it will lead you.

Julie Abbott

Press Officer

Julie Complete newbie to this exercise lark! Having watched hubby complete his first Tri at East Grinstead in May 2014, I got completely swept up by the ATC enthusiasm for supporting, advising and helping everyone, no matter of their abilities and declared ‘I’m going to do this, NEXT year’ (OK – wine may have been involved in making that declaration too).

Somehow, 10 short weeks later, I did my first Tri at Lydd. I think I broke the course record for the longest time ever – almost everyone had finished the run before I got finished the ride!! But I got lots of encouragement to keep going from ATC members and from other clubs too – some even ran with me for the first bit to get me on my way. Next was the totally awesome (and very cold) experience of the National Team Relays which was a fab weekend with club members, then the sprint tri at Bodiam Castle – totally loved the moat swim. That’s it – said I was new! Summary for 2014 : lots of new friends, the fittest I’ve ever been, got to ogle fit blokes in skin tight lycra, dropped 3 dress sizes and still eating cake! What’s not to love about this sport? Plans: get properly fit over winter and next year step up to Standard Distance Tri’s and possibly further…

Lorraine Hawkins

Design

Rainy I started running in recent years and felt I needed to improve. Approaching and joining Ashford Tri Club was way out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I found them – the support and friendliness is heart-warming and they are very encouraging and supportive even if you’re at the back of the pack.

With that motivation I’ve now taken part in several running events including a few road and trail marathons and even dipped my toes into a couple of short distance triathlons. I’d encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to just do it!

Martin Abbott

Webmaster

IMG_1532 Let’s just say, if I hadn’t have gotten up from my sofa from drinking and smoking I wouldn’t be typing this today. Having the addictive personality that I have, it went from one extreme to the other. This lifestyle, however, brings excitement, team spirit and the overwhelming sensation of, “what the hell have I just signed up to now?”. Oh, and you can eat what the hell you like as your sure a hell burn it off 🙂

I thought I would never get into anything that involved more than walking. Even then, using the term walking loosely as a taxi or bus would be far easier. Once you have a single glimpse of what is install with ATC you’ll never look back and never forget the experience. The nervousness of the start of the swim, then the transition onto the bike with the wind as your enemy. Once you’re running, you only have the finish to run to and the sense of achievement nearing the end is so immense. ATC has meant so much more to me, from learning to swim for the first time, walking up Snowdon, running a marathon up Pen-y-fan and the Sunday bike ride, meeting and riding with other members (friends) before tucking into a lovely breakfast on the “Brunch ride”.

I wanted to be a member of the committee just to give back something to a group of people that have given me so much that I will always feel indebted. Oh, and I still enjoy the “occasional” pint of ale or glass of wine 😉

Claire Brooker

Social Secretary

Claire My journey to Triathlon started with a bet … well actually the group of guys that I ran with regularly saying I was too chicken to enter one. So I entered the London Olympic Distance triathlon in 2012 having not ridden a bike since I was 8 when I fell off racing my brother down a hill, and not swam properly since my Coca Cola badge at school. It was the most horrendous day possible with torrential rain and the wind making the Thames even more delightful,  but with some help from ATC I finished but vowed never again, sold my bike and went back to running.

year later I found running never gave the same challenge and now seemed dull. So I rejoined the club in 2014, next thing I know I have a shiny new bike and a wetsuit and am training for my second Half Iron Man Distance triathlon and haven’t looked back since. Until I joined this club I always thought I was the only adult that couldn’t ride a bike or swim but actually I was not alone, the coached sessions are excellent and I am now a competent swimmer and can keep up with the Intermediate rides. It’s never too late to start!

Blaine Epsley

Coaching Co-Ordinator

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Amanda Cooper

Casual Kit/Club Merchandise

Mandy_C Until May 2014 I couldn’t run for a bus, let alone a 5K. Having seen a marathon in France in which you drink wine, I decided that would be fun so started running. I ran my first parkrun that July and met some fantastic people, some of whom were members of Ashford Tri Club. Everyone said what a friendly club it was and what brilliant training opportunities there were. So, I joined, expecting to do nothing more than run a few races. By May 2015, thanks to Ruth, I had learnt to swim (albeit slowly!), completed my first marathon in under 5 hours and had bought a bike, to start training for my first triathlon. However, due to my own clumsiness, I had an accident and fractured my hip. The support from ATC was amazing, even though I was unable to train properly until the autumn.

But when I did get back to training, the coaches and the rest of the club were incredibly supportive and helped me to get my strength, confidence and fitness back. My confidence and fitness are still a bit lacking, but being part of such a friendly club, there is always someone to train with, whether it’s a long run or a short bike ride.
Since then, I’ve completed 3 sprint tri’s (awesome fun!) and am training for the marathon du Medoc in September 2016. My goals for next year are just to get a bit quicker, more confident and maybe a longer distance tri.

Who knows! All I know is that I’m fitter than I have ever been, I’ve made some really lovely friends and have had lots of fun along the way. Oh & I still can’t run for a bus

James Batchellor

Race/Technical Kit

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Alex Keenan

Co-opted member

Alex Keenan I originally joined ATC to try and lose some weight. I set some initial targets such as completing a 10k and a sprint tri and have now progressed up to middle distance triathlons. My targets for 2015 are to run a marathon and to improve my overall times. I still need to lose weight but I am having great fun trying! I love the friendly atmosphere and support I get from fellow members of the club and it is this that keeps me going.

Michael Bennett

Co-opted member

Michael I’ve been a member of ATC about 3 and a half years and first joined after entering the London triathlon with a few friends. We though it would be good fun to do but then thought maybe we should join a club to help with our goal. I’m so glad I did as it was amazing from the first swimming session I went to and got welcomed straight away.

I then did a couple of sprint triathlons in the summer before doing London. Since then I have done all sorts ranging from the sprint distance to a half distance triathlon. The highlight I would say on our calendar is the club relays as it is a great team event and with the amount we get to go we all having an awesome time.