Committee 2019

Chairperson – Julie Abbott

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’. Somehow, just 10 short weeks later, I did my first Sprint Tri and came very much last. Later that year, I joined the committee as Press and Communications Officer and got totally involved in all things ATC from the weekly newsletter to being part of the team that organised our two club events. Having arrived late at this fitness game, I am often near the back end of any race – but race I do and due to the amazing support of this club, I have pushed myself beyond anything I thought possible. I have run Marathons including the awesome Beachy Head, I compete in Cani-X races which I love and have completed Triathlons of all distances – exactly 3 years after that first Tri, I completed The Outlaw, and I wasn’t last!

Welfare Officer/Vice Chair – Alex Milne

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.

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.

More recently I have also taken on the role of co-ordination of the clubs efforts in the Triathlon England: South East Region Series.

Secretary – Jim Hawkins

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.

Membership Secretary & Webmaster – Martin Abbott

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 you like as you sure burn it all 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 to get to the finish 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 (twice) and the Sunday bike ride, meeting and riding with other members (friends) before tucking into a lovely breakfast on the “Brunch ride”. Finally completing The Outlaw Full Distance Triathlon (2016) and Ironman Wales (2017).

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 😉

Treasurer – Tristam Burgess

I joined ATC in 2015, never having done a triathlon. Before that I played rugby for Ashford until my back let me play no more. After that, I carried on running and doing OCRs, but it didn’t feel like enough. After my first triathlon, I was hooked! The club was a big part in my development and in 2018 I represented the GB age group team in Ibiza for the European Aquathlon Championship. I will continue to enjoy moving forward in triathlon with ATC.

Press Officer/Communications – Danyel Carter

I have only been a member of ATC for a short time, I come from a running background and have several years experience serving on the committee here. 

In the last three years I have discovered a love of cycling and have made the move to ATC to tackle the third discipline which I’m least skilled at! 

My short term goals are to enter as many short distance triathlons as I can in the coming year  before taking on long distance events in 2020. 

Men’s Captain/Coach – Keith Russell

Ladies Captain/Coach – Mandy Cooper

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

Social Secretary/Communiations – Claire Brooker

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.

A 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 wet suit and I’m 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!

Coach Liaison/Coach – Blaine Epsley

I remember my first ever 5km run, it was on a treadmill a week before my first ever park run. Exactly 1 year to the date of my first ever parkrun, I completed my first Half Ironman event, in my first season of triathlon – 3 weeks later I did another.

Now 3 years into the sport and as a Level 1 Triathlon coach, I sit on the committee of what I would argue is one of the most important things in my life these days – Ashford Tri Club. I am responsible for taking coaching matters to the committee to help ensure with the amazing coaching team we are able to provide regular low cost, high quality training sessions for triathletes of all abilities.

I am a strong believer in both knowing your own limits and raising that limit further than you or anyone else, ever thought was possible. Set yourself no boundaries, choose a goal, do everything you can to get to it, love it, live it, and never ever give up.

Kit and Resources – James Batchellor

Co-opted Member – Becca Harry

Co-opted Member – Mark Whittingham