Athlete of the month: Brian Kelly

Brian with his grandchildren.

Brian has been a member of GTC for 18 months and races in the veteran category (age 60 to 64). In fact, he completed the Briggs Triathlon on his 62nd birthday.

As a youngster, Brian played football before discovering a love and talent for hockey in his last year of secondary school. He played hockey for some 12 years in Scotland and Holland and reached what he describes rather modestly as a “respectable level”.

Brian said: “I also played Gaelic football, ran a few half marathons and enjoyed cycling but hockey was my first real sports passion.”

Throughout his life, Brian reports he has had problems with his weight. He said: “During periods when I wasn’t exercising I would put on weight and gradually the weight stayed on. Life changed with marriage and children and so did my priorities.

“I started doing fad diets to try to lose weight, which led me to the Atkins diet. I lost a lot of weight doing this with minimal exercise but when I stopped this diet I eventually put on more weight than I had lost.

“I ended up at the GP, who took some blood samples and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension.”

That’s when Brian decided to join GTC.

He said: “A cycling friend, Julie Fitzpatrick, suggested that I give triathlon a go as a way to exercise more and so I found GTC. I also signed up for the Bute Triathlon novice race at the same time.

“Being a part of GTC and exercising regularly, plus attending Slimming World, where I have been given the correct advice on exercise and food intake, have worked wonders for me.

“I have lost a total of 32kgs and managed to reverse my diabetes and get my blood pressure back to normal. I am very happy about this.”

Brian’s triathlon likes

When it comes to triathlon, Brian enjoys both the cycling and swimming disciplines and although he has long been a fan of cycling he reckons swimming is now his favourite sport.

He said: “I find it so easy to get lost in my own thoughts while swimming in the pool, which is great when the rest of life is busy.

“I have also benefitted from the Sunday night swim session and the coaches are all fantastic including Duggie Mac, Sean, Rose, Lochlan and Niall.”

Brian, who is a grandad, has so far completed a number of sprint and novice triathlons and prefers the longer distance. After Briggs Triathlon this weekend he wrote: “It was my birthday and I also did a triathlon. I had an amazing day.”

He lists a few achievements that he has been proud of. He said:  “I cycled from London to Paris to raise funds for the prostate cancer charity after my dad died of the cancer.

“I was also proud to reaching the semi finals of the British GAA and I felt great when I  completed my first sprint triathlon at Lochgilphead.”

Brian has a few goals for this year: To get PB in a sprint triathlon, to complete his first standard triathlon (Chester on June 3) and to PB at 10k.

One day he would like to do a Half Ironman.

Brian’s tips for newcomers to triathlon

Join Glasgow Triathlon Club

Listen to what the coaches tell you

Believe in yourself.