Triathlete duo to take on the world

Leyland triathletes Mandy Walsh and Lorraine Thompson
Leyland triathletes Mandy Walsh and Lorraine Thompson
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Two Leyland athletes are heading to Mexico next month to take part in the World Triathlon Championships.

Mandy Walsh, 51, and Lorraine Thompson, 43, will be representing Great Britain at the event in Cozumel.

Triathlon is a gruelling event in which competitors swim, cycle and run, it being a real test of endurance and strength.

Mandy and Lorraine only took up the sport five years ago, having first started running together in Leyland in 2003.

They head to Mexico having got through the UK qualification races earlier in the year.

“We first met at the Womens Running Network at Leyland in 2003,” said Mandy. “Neither of us were runners, or from a running background, but enjoyed the group and started to enjoy the running.

“Over the years we have completed various running events from 5km up to marathon distance.

“We then moved onto trail running with Racepace and the Love Trail Running (LTR) group, a great experience to explore local countryside with like-minded people.

“There was still a desire to push ourselves more therefore decided to give triathlon a shot. That was about five years ago.

“Since then we have done sprint, Olympic and half ironman triathlons. We never expect to win but always try and give it our best shot and achieve personal goals.

“Our training partner’s/friends Joanne Heron and Jane Bowles have been with us through thick and thin and we thank them for that.

“This year however we decided to become a bit more serious and actually try and qualify for the World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico.

“We started training more seriously at the end of last year with Sarah Jepson our Racepace coach. We have did UK based qualification races this year and have both managed to qualify.

“We are flying to Mexico on September 9, - my race is on September 15 with Lorraine’s on September 18.

“It has been challenging to fit in the training as we both have busy full time jobs and families but we have remained dedicated and determined.

“The cost of getting to Mexico and race entry fees have been a further challenge but we could not let this opportunity pass.

“To help us raise some sponsorship we have a number of football cards and now looking to do a raffle with some great prizes on offer and would like to thank those who have contributed.

Special mentions go to Rob Molyneux from Avalon Health for the kind donation for our kit and on-going physio, and to Dave Wilson of Broadgate Cycles for donation of prizes and bike maintenance assistance.”