We have a star in our midst – Nicky Turvey, a member of Croft Ambrey Running Club since the 1980s, plus, more latterly, Hereford Triathlon Club and Ludlow Cycling Club achieved 7th place in the 55-59 year age group in the Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. This achievement, after only competing in triathlons for two years, followed a long career running on the road and cross country since her twenties. The change to triathlons came after a period of injury and taking to riding a second-hand mountain bike as an alternative means of keeping fit. Then the seed was sown to try a triathlon. It was May 2012 when she headed off to the local pool in Leominster for her first swimming lesson and off to ‘Climb on Bikes’ in Hereford to buy her first road bike. Her first triathlon was at Lucton in July 2012 where she was third in her age group but, more importantly, the love of the sport had begun. Two further triathlons followed that year with wins in the super veteran section. Then the training began in earnest, with dedicated early morning training sessions at 05:30 a.m. before work and then often more in the evening. The following year she completed 9 triathlons, winning her age group in all but one. The dream of representing Great Britain as an age grouper became a burning ambition for 2014. Two qualifiers in Nottingham and Rother Valley near Sheffield were entered where Nicky qualified at the former and then won the latter in a highly competitive race. This was was a real confidence booster and these performances earned that coveted GB vest.
The age group world championships were held in the same location as the elite world championship swimming in the same lake, biking on the same roads and running on a similar route but the highlight was finishing on the same blue carpet that would later grace the feet of the famous Brownlee brothers.
The day dawned a bit overcast but the conditions were ideal for racing. A piper wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes led the competitors to the start where they were held in pens before being called forward onto the pontoon to start. Nicky had an excellent swim emerging from the lake in a creditable 9th position, running to transition and picking up her bike to ride round the closed roads of Edmonton and moving up the order to 7th position. Then back to transition to put on her running shoes and complete the final run leg on a mixture of trails and tarmac to retain that 7th place on the world stage.
The support from the crowd was superb and uplifting, including daughters, Lauren and Suzanne, who had also made the journey out as their Mum’s biggest supporters. They had been with her from the start at her first triathlon at Lucton School in 2012, to the qualifiers in Nottingham and Sheffield earlier in the year and finally to Edmonton to witness Nicky’s triumphant display.
Nicky has also qualified for the European Championships in Geneva next July and, as one of the top three Great Britain finishers in Edmonton, has pre-qualified for the World Championships in Chicago next September. This should serve as an inspiration to all local athletes and a message that the sky is the limit.
Nicky extends her thanks to her Croft team-mates for their support and encouragement and hopes to run in the sky blue vest in the forthcoming XC season. This will serve as good strength training for further triathlon success.