Alice Barnes – Chair
I first started triathlon in 2012 – a friend suggested it and it seemed like a good idea at the time and here I am five years later, still thinking it’s a good idea (well, at least some of the time). I currently race Sprint and Standard distance and have done so at GB age-group level.
My life consists mainly of family life, training, eating & sleeping. I’m also involved in Royston Swimming Club, where I volunteer coach part time, organise their galas and various other tasks. If I do get any spare time I like to catch up with non-triathlon friends or do creative things like drawing, furniture renovation, housework. No, who am I kidding? – I enjoy a curry and a few glasses of wine – that’s more realistic these days!
When I’m not training, I am a mum to two boys, work in an office part time and am a swimming teacher. I am ASA level 2 qualified, a J1 swimming judge and a level 1 running coach. I also used to own a running shop, so can advise on running shoes and running form.
Triathlon has something for everyone, is great for the mind and body and is full of the most amazing and friendly people. Everyone is really supportive and helpful. I love that you can compete at all levels, distances and speeds and there’s a challenge in each and every race.
Guy Thompson – Vice Chair
Hello, just a little about me.
I came to triathlon from mainly a running and mountain bike background – I have been running with Royston Runners since 2002. In that time I have completed many events including seven marathons, two ultras and the outlaw triathlon (iron distance).
Whilst I was training for my first and fastest marathon I was coached by my life long friend, who had just completed an Ironman. I was hooked thereafter.
In summary: I’m rubbish at swimming but getting faster on the bike and can hold my own in anything up to half marathon.
I dislike anyone who cheats and anyone with a Santa Cruz mountain bike (long story and only a handful of people know the story). My nickname is Squid, due to my brilliant swimming style(!), and a mix up on a road race – they called me Steve Quid all day. We have a great little club that continues to grow and develop.
Liz White – Club Secretary
AKA Josh’s mum! Brought up in Cornwall, I spent my childhood, whenever possible, in the sea and cycling around the Cornish lanes and hills. Despite participating in many sports over the years, running was something I did not enjoy. With one of those age milestones looming a few years ago, I decided to confront this. Triathlon was my motivation. From being able to run just a few hundred metres I progressed over a year to 5km. Our local Wimpole Park Run has been a big incentive in my gradual improvement. In 2013 I completed my first Sprint triathlon.
This year I finished my first half marathon and now really enjoy running, especially the longer distances. In September 2015 I completed my first standard distance triathlon at St Neots and have already signed up for a middle distance event in Nottingham next year. I’m certainly one of the slower competitors but this does not worry me, just as long as I finish a few seconds ahead of my husband, David! I love taking part in events and my big regret is not having started this great sport sooner.
Elspeth Gutteridge – Treasurer
A latecomer to most elements of triathlon, I find it all quite challenging! It’s all the fault of my doctor for telling me I should do some concussion exercise. Apparently he meant running, not falling off horses, which is what I was more used to doing. So I started on the C25K programme just over 2 years ago, & the rest, as they say, is history. I lacked the willpower to do the training without a goal, and so, having been a club swimmer many many moons ago, I thought triathlon would fit the bill. I entered a super sprint tri (London 2015) & loved it…….once the pain wore off. My nemesis is the bike as I hate riding in traffic & have some weird panic reaction to stopping, but I’m even getting better at that.
Life outside triathlon involves working part-time for Garden House Hospice in Letchworth doing data stuff, keeping the books for my husband Chip’s business, being part-time carer for my 90 year old Dad, and feeding & exercising our 4 dogs, 2 horses & donkey.
Mark Whitehead – Membership Secretary
I’m not just a latecomer to Triathlons but to sport in general. As a musician in the Armed Forces for 30 years we were subject to a fitness test once a year and I hated it! ‘The Journey’ started with running in September 2015 when my wife Helen saw a beginners’ running course advertised at Wimpole Hall. Not wishing to be outdone I said I would go along and support her. When she dropped out through injury six weeks later I had sort of got the bug by then and carried on running, soon getting myself up to 5k, 10k and half marathons and training up to be a Leader in Running Fitness along the way. Helen’s other goal had always been to learn to swim properly. We could sort of swim a bit but only enough not to drown! So, in October 2016 it was off to the pool where we met our coach Alice, currently club Chair, whose skill and patience got us both swimming like we never dreamed we could. One day Alice suggested that as I was running and now swimming I might like to try a triathlon. Funnily enough she knew of someone who had a decent second-hand bike for sale. Laughs and jokes later, after I returned home I gave it some thought. What a challenge that would be! So, in June 2017 I collected the bike and in September 2017 took part in my first sprint tri.
So here I am having completed a few more sprint tris and about to take part in my first open water triathlon. I never thought I would be doing this at my time of life, it is so exhilarating, and the club support is outstanding. Triathlon really can be a sport for us all and OK, I may never be on a podium but I’ve never felt so good trying!
Caroline Baker – Web and Social Media
I started running in 2006 with the aim of completing the Race for Life. My running progressed over the years up to half marathon distance and then a friend suggested that I might like to do a triathlon. I signed up for one 6 months away and then started panicking!
I started adult lessons as my swimming was passable but I had no stamina and struggled to complete even two lengths without struggling for breath. It took a few months before I was confident to do 400m and then I knew I would be fine for my first super sprint triathlon in July 2012. I went on to do a few more pool based triathlons before progressing to open water and completed my first sprint distance triathlon in September 2014. My favourite discipline is cycling and I love triathlon as it welcomes all types of abilities and there is a distance to suit everyone.
Jessica Crane – Welfare Officer
I’ve had a go at horse riding, swimming, figure skating, fencing, archery, volleyball and other things sport related before settling largely for running over the last 10 years. I’m a newbie to triathlon having got involved volunteering at one 10 years ago and being on Channel 4 waving a red flag to boot. I finally bit the bullet and signed up in May 2017 to take the plunge! I’d recommend Triathlon to any age or ability, it truly caters for all and I wish I’d “tri-ed” sooner.
A Try a Tri and training with the super friendly and encouraging club has helped boost confidence, I’m progressing and enjoying it immensely whether it be me skinning my knees practicing transitions, swimming (lots of splashing and some forward propulsion), or happily haring up hills on the bike (favourite bit!). Outside of triathlon I work on groundwater resource projects, help with the local Girl Guides unit and happily catch up with friends and family. If I could be anywhere, I’d be in Hawaii studying volcanoes and dreaming about triathlon and Kona (coffee and tri)!