Bilbao Babes

Matt, Helen, Mark, Amy and Rosemary are all travelling to the European Championships, Bilbao Spain in September, having qualified for their age group categories and I caught up with them to find out how their training is going.


Matt Poole


Matt is our only athlete competing in an off road event, having qualified for the Cross Duathlon at the Welsh Cross Championship race held at Afan Forest in November 2021. Matt came 4th in his age group despite competing in some serious weather conditions thanks to Storm Arwen!


Matt had the option to compete in Romania or Spain but opted for the latter as he can combine the trip with a visit to his in laws. Having family in the area has also meant he’s been able to head over earlier this summer for some training, ably assisted by his lovely wife and fellow club member Sarah. Matts smashing his training so far, setting new PBs in the 5k and 10k runs and he’s recently acquired a new Canyon MTB which he is trying out at various races over the summer.


Helen Ilsley


Helen qualified for the Sprint Duathlon back on 2020 at Clumber Park. However, the delay might be an advantage as her training is going from strength to strength with some great support and advice from her coach, Gareth who provides bespoke services to athletes as well as being one of the clubs volunteer coaches.


Helen is hoping to enjoy the race on the day, focusing on doing her best but also making the most of the experience.


Mark Mills


Mark qualified for the sprint duathlon in 2021 at Redcar and is hoping to place top 10, he trains regularly with the club and is one of our coaches so is leading by example!


Amy Walker


Amy was convinced to have a go at triathlon a few years back by her friend James and she’s a natural! Having smashed the World Aquathon Championships last year (Anillo, Spain) where she placed 1st female overall, she automatically qualified for the World and Europeans this year.


Amy’s super focused on her training, somehow managing to fit it all in around her 3 kids. Earlier in the year she took part in and won the World Coal Carrying Championship, lugging 20kg of coal on her back, demonstrating impressive strength as well as speed.


Amy has also qualified for the European Sprint Triathlon and World Standard distance Triathlon events later in the year so watch this space for more details.


Rosemary Baker

Rosemary has qualified for the Standard Distance Duathlon, back in 2021 at Croft and Middle Distance Triathlon in 2020 at Outlaw (a club favourite).


Rosemary will be competing in both events in Spain, thanks to the scheduling being kind with a weeks break between them. Still, this is no mean feat, and I am sure you’ll agree that she’s an inspiration! Rosemary trains hard and recently mixed it up with some training over in France.





I am sure, like me, you will all want to know how these guys get on and I will be catching up with them to find out so stay tuned.

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