Wellingborough triathlete qualifies for GB team

Melanie Ryding
Melanie Ryding

Wellingborough athlete Melanie Ryding has qualified to represent Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships in New Zealand.

She finished fifth in the final qualifying race in Bristol last weekend, securing her spot on the age group squad for the fourth consecutive year.

Melanie’s age group (40-44) has been the most competitive age group in the women’s races this year, with 33 athletes vying for the four spots up for grabs at each of the three qualifying races.

Melanie said: “I didn’t know what to expect from the Bristol race, it’s a new race on the calendar. The swim was in the harbour, and the cycle and run courses went along the river Avon and under the Clifton suspension bridge, although I didn’t have time to stop and look at the view!”

She added: “I was very pleased with my performance, I came out of the swim in fourth, finished the bike leg in third losing only two places right at the start of the run, before holding my position for most of the 5km route to the finish line.

“It’s been a tough season so far. Fighting my way back to fitness after my head injury last year has been tougher than I thought.

“I was really excited to see I had improved hugely on my top 20 position of my previous few races to get the top five position and the spot on the team.

“The competition this year has been fiercer than ever, so I am so proud that I am going to the World Championships with team GB for the fourth year in a row.”

After losing four-and-a-half stones in just four months Melanie began triathlon training in 2007 – making the World Championships team for Great Britain two years later where she has been a permanent fixture ever since.

Last year, she sustained a head injury, concussion and memory loss while out training, which almost jeopardised her chances of competing in the World Championships in Beijing last September.

Earlier this year, Melanie travelled to Israel, to represent Great Britain in the European Triathlon championships, where she opened her 2012 racing season with a fantastic fifth place, securing an automatic spot on the team for next year’s European championships in Turkey.

The schedule Melanie keeps is intense, and she admits it is tough at times to fit in training and racing while holding down a full time teaching job in Grange School, Kempston, and running a nutrition and NLP ‘mental strength’ training business ‘Ryding2Health’.

She said: “It’s tough to fit it all in, but we are completely self-funded and racing on the international stage does not come cheap.

“The race entry fee alone for this year’s world championships is £285, and flights to New Zealand do not come cheap. I am massively grateful to my sponsors, TriUK, Specsavers in Wellingborough and Waendel Leisure Centre. It gets tougher and tougher to afford to continue to race at this level.”

For advertising and sponsorship opportunities contact Melanie via her websites www.melanieryding.com and www.ryding2health.com where she regularly blogs and keeps people updated about her regime and racing schedule.