Athlete of the month: Celia Greig

Celia Greig has been with the club since May 2017 and has been taking part in triathlons for six years. She is about to head into the 45-to-49 age category.

Celia has enjoyed sports for most of her life and she can remember her dad encouraging her. She says: “Dad attempted to make me into his racquet and ball sports prodigy for years, however it was skiing, snowboarding boarding, running, cycling and swimming that I most liked.

“I ran and cycled with my dad and we regularly ran 5k and 10ks together. But, when I was 20, my dad was diagnosed with PSP, which is a relatively rare degenerative neurological disease. This meant he had to give running and all the other sports he loved.

“My sister and I decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon in 2003 to raise money for PSP research. I achieved this with no real goal and limited training, but I was proud that my dad was able to see us crawl over the line.

“Sadly, he passed away that year, so five years after that, while living in London, I ran it again in aid of PSP and with a bit more effort. I joined Kent Athletics Club to try to train more effectively.”

By this point, Celia had caught the “running bug” and she went on to complete many events at 10k and half-marathon distance.

Celia also worked as a pool lifeguard and a children’s swimming teacher as a student. She says: “However, I didn’t swim competitively back then and I didn’t really achieve the skill level that I really wanted at that time.”

Celia and friends.

Discovering triathlon

Triathlon came when Celia was living in Sydney, Australia. She says: “I was suffering with quite a few minor running-related injuries so I decided to have a go at triathlon. It offered the chance to do a range of sports and not focus on just one.

“Between 2013 and 2016, I took part in six all-female Triathlon Pink events in Sydney, as well as one in Newcastle. I also did the Big Husky and Little Husky events, which are part of the Huskisson Triathlon Festival in New South Wales.”

Celia was keen, while living in Sydney, to develop her swimming skills so she could enjoy the open water swim events that living in Australia offered.

She also bought a new bike, with the aim of becoming “better and faster”.

Today, Celia’s favourite discipline is cycling. She says: “I feel that cycling is my strongest sport and I love the challenge of the range of terrain and courses in Scotland.

“However, I see the most improvement in both running and swimming, the more coaching I receive from GTC.” 

Races and goals

Celia’s race distance preference is sprint, although she has started to complete in longer distances.

She says: “Shorter distances – and the training required for them –  fit in better with being a working mum of three kids under the age of nine.

“But I enjoy longer events as well. I have competed in a standard-distance triathlon and I am doing the Knockburn Standard in September as well. I have also taken part in a middle distance triathlon.”

Celia is most proud of her two Edinburgh marathons – and taking part in a triathlon when her youngest daughter was just 12 weeks old.

Celia, right, with GTC friends.

She also took bronze in two events in 2018, the New Cumnock Supersprint and the Stirling Aquathlon, and she was first female vet in the Glenrothes Tri Festival in 2017.

She adds: “I was also pleased to be third female vet in my first standard- distance event, the Brighton and Hove 2018 triathlon, and I achieved my sub-six hour goal in the middle-distance UK Ultimate Half Triathlon thanks to the brilliant and supportive coaching of Fiona Maurer, who helped me to get over the line in 5:54:21.

“I loved the event and hope to do more in the future, especially if I can spend the weekend with fantastic GTC friends again like this year.”

Celia’s has several goals for the rest of the season. She says: “I want to improve my transition times, to do more early morning training sessions and to believe in myself more.

“Next season, I hope to entering an Ironman 70.3 and my lifetime aspirations for triathlon are to do a middle distance event in the sun somewhere; to complete a full Ironman event (maybe?!) and to continue to race with and for Glasgow Triathlon Club, for as long as possible.”

Celia’s tips for triathlon

Believe in yourself and your capabilities

Join a great club of likeminded people like GTC

Go to as many coached sessions as you can because they are fun and you can see the improvement almost immediately.

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