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Kidderminster Teacher to Compete at European Duathlon Championships in Portugal

A Kidderminster music teacher will once again compete at the European Duathlon Championships in Coimbra, Portugal on the 15th June as part of the GB age group team.

56-year-old Sarah Paterson who teaches at Holy Trinity School will compete in the 55-59 age category and is excited to get started following positive training over the last 5-months despite illness and injury worries.

Said Sarah who trains 6-days a week said: “I would like to podium, but there are never any guarantees. The hardest thing is often getting on the starting line injury free and with a solid training season behind you. Once there, the race is for anyone's taking.”

Sarah’s background is in running and didn't purchase her first bicycle until the age of 49.

“Initially I was just interested in the social rides, leisurely trips out to a cafe for coffee and cake on a Sunday morning, but after reading Louise Minchin’s autobiography, I thought I would like to have a go at Sprint Duathlons, which involve a 5km run, 20km cycle and finish with a 2.5 km run, so I entered a British Triathlon qualifier race and ended up being selected and representing GB in Spain in March 2020, and just a week before the first lock down!” added Sarah.

Since then Sarah has competed for GB five times in both European and World Champs, with Coimbra her seventh time representing GB and having secured 4 podiums with Gold last year in Venice at the European Championships and in Aviles in the World Champs 2021.

“When enthusiasm wains, commitment and discipline step in. I am lucky though in that I generally enjoy the process. I love being fit and so the training has become a lifestyle choice.

“The friendships I’ve made along the way, both within the GB Team and locally really are the icing on the cake and I feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I am doing, and I would like to thank students, staff and the wider Holy Trinity School community for their continued support, without which, I would struggle to continue.”

Encouraging people to have a go at triathlons and duathlons, Sarah says start your training journey with local events, many of which are advertised on the British Triathlon website and that although starting an exercise programme can be daunting, start by walking, jogging, and then maybe complete a couch to 5k as all excellent ways to begin.

She added: “The benefits of regular exercise are vast, both the obvious physical but also mental. I am quite sure I would have struggled to get through the last few years if it wasn't for my sport.”

Selected for the World Championships in August in Australia she has had to withdraw due to the costs involved but is hoping to compete next year following qualifying and selection by British Triathlon for the European and World Championships 2025.

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