Committee Members

Mark Wilsher – Chair


It all started on a yacht, sailing up the west coast of Scotland ‘Have you heard of the 3 Peaks Yacht Race,’ said the skipper.  The following year I found myself on the start line of one of the oldest endurance races in the world.  We came second and the adrenaline addiction was firmly planted in me.  We decided to do it again the following year so I joined a running club to help with training.  

And so the world of running opened up to me and suddenly sport was there to enjoy rather than to endure, as it was at school.  In the ever-lasting chase for new PB’s I signed up with a coach, who happened to be a triathlete.  After a minor injury 4 weeks before a marathon he suggested I get on my bike and into the pool to maintain fitness while the injury resolved.  I protested saying that I’d not cycled or swum seriously since school 35 years earlier but when he saw my speed and pace, he said I was a natural and should switch to Triathlon.

So then I joined the dark side and loved it.  Somewhere deep down I knew all along that I would end up doing this so just got on with it.  In my first season I won my age group in a few races and qualified for Team GB.  After 5 years I’ve done a few long distance races (Ironman) and even qualified for Kona. I love the fact that old gits like me can still compete against other old gits in our own races when we are hours behind the young ones.

Claire Duguid – Vice Chair


I was encouraged to give triathlon a go by some friends at work after I retired from playing netball. The only problem was I could barely swim a length of front crawl, hadn’t ridden a bike since I was a teenager and I wasn’t that keen on running. However, after many swimming lessons and buying a bike, on the cycle to work scheme, I entered my first triathlon in 2010 and have never looked back. Since then I have completed lots of sprint triathlons, Olympic distances, and a half Ironman. In 2018 I represented GB age group at the Aquathlon World Championships and the ETU Sprint Triathlon in the European Championships, in Glasgow.

I joined Meridian Triathlon Club in 2016, when we moved from London and I was so chuffed to find such a friendly and supportive club in the local area. Not only have I met lots of lovely people, who I enjoy training and socialising with, but it has also given me the opportunity to get involved with other aspects in the club, such as coaching.

Life outside triathlons involves working as a podiatrist and doing as much travelling as I can. Having spent most of my early twenties backpacking around the world I still have the travelling bug, but now it tends to be in our campervan.

Alice Barnes – Head Coach

I first started triathlon in 2012 – a friend suggested it and it seemed like a good idea at the time and then the following year our Triathlon England area rep suggested I start a local triathlon club, so I gathered some like-minded locals together and MTC was born.  I race actively – currently Aquathlon and Triathlon Sprint and Standard distance and have done so at BTF GB age-group level since 2015.

As well as coaching at MTC I also coach swimming at Hoddesdon Swimming Club and teach swimming in an independent school. The rest of the time I work as an independent swim & triathlon coach and particularly enjoy coaching para-swimming.

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.

Jenni Rodd – Club Secretary


I joined MTC in 2021 to try and find some health and fitness after a recent kidney transplant. I joined as a recreational cyclist who hadn’t run or swum since I was made to by a PE teacher in the 1980s. I was emphatic that I was only joining for the Sunday social bike rides and had absolutely no intention of either running or swimming.

But, I was gradually encouraged (brainwashed?) into trying the other disciplines. Within a year of joining I’d completed couch to 5k, run my first 10k event, finished the RideLondon 100 miler, learned to swim front crawl and finished my first sprint triathlon (slowly). And discovered that I don’t actually hate swimming, I just hate indoor swimming pools.

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

carolineI 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.

Frances Boyer – Welfare Officer

Until moving to Cambridge in 2005, I did no sporting activities whatsoever. Mum made me and my siblings have swimming lessons, back in the day before goggles were used, and the chlorine was so strong our eyes were streaming for days after. I’ve always walked everywhere and run a bit, but that’s only because I am always late!
It was a racing cyclist I met in Cambridge who encouraged me to get on a bike, but when he saw how rubbish I was, he got a tandem. Being a stoker is really hard work, but I love it. We’ve taken the bike everywhere, but I most enjoy cycling up the mountains in Mallorca – the effort going up is immense as we’re pushing 160kgs between us – but the absolute thrill of flying down the other side, reaching speeds of up to nearly 50mph, is awesome! It was also in Cambridge that I resumed swimming lessons; this time with goggles!

Circumstances determined that my son and I move to Melbourn, and it was then that I saw the notice about a new running group at Wimpole. It was here that I met the lovelies – Beth Hart and Mark Whitehead – who encouraged me to join MTC, which I did in 2020. And I am so glad I did! It is the most welcoming and supportive club, whatever level you are at.  I have only competed in one triathlon so far, and have run six 10k’s, but I am determined to get a few events under my belt this year. I won’t break any land speed records, but I will be proud to be wearing the colours of such a brilliant club!

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