GTC athlete of the month: Juliette Linford

Juliette Linford celebrates a year anniversary with GTC this month and says she is looking forward to a longer triathlon this year and also beating her time for a half-marathon.

Juliette, who is an ecologist and races in the senior women category, has enjoyed sport for as long as she can remember. She started with ball sports – tennis, badminton and cricket – as a youngster and went on to represent Surrey ladies CCC until she was 18.

At university she played tennis and enjoyed climbing and hill walking in the Peak District. Since moving to Scotland in the summer of 2015 she has played tennis for Kelvingrove LTC and bagged a total of 61 Munros.

Juliette at the Aviemore Triathlon.

Triathlon started for Juliette by chance when she was asked to do a company event. She says: “I could run a bit, bike a bit and swim a bit. So when asked to take part in the work’s triathlon at Eton Dorney, I figured I could probably get round.

“Having loved that, I was persuaded by a friend Kasia, who was already a member of the club, to take part in the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon. After that I joined GTC.”

Of the three triathlon sports, running is Juliette’s favourite. She says: “I really love it. It’s such a good way to de-stress and clear your thoughts.”

Like many people who join GTC, it is swimming in which Juliette has seen the greatest improvements. She says: “I never thought I’d be able to swim continuous front crawl. The swim sessions have been amazing.

“I didn’t think I was improving, but then I knocked of 3.5 minutes off my previous swim time at the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon, so I figured something must be going right.”

Another half-marathon for Juliette, this time in Dundee.

She has raced several triathlons, including sprint and standard distance, and enjoyed them all.

She was surprised and delighted to end up in second place in her age group and fourth overall in the 2017 Triathlon Scotland cross events rankings, which included the Loch Lomond Beastie Cross, the Aviemore Cross Long course and Craggy Island.

She says modestly: “I was actually injured at Craggy Island, although I did come fourth in my age group at the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon. I was really pleased to see my name up there in the rankings but maybe that was just because I entered all three events.”

In 2017, Juliette ran three half-marathons. She says: “I did Inverness, Dundee and Glasgow – and finished them all within 1hr 43mins, which is such unwanted consistency! I am looking to improve on that this summer.

“And in the future I just want to be able to keep enjoying the sport. I would also like to do some coaching one day, too.”

Juliette’s 3 tips for beginners

Don’t doubt yourself. Your mental attitude is the biggest barrier. You can do more than you might think.

Try to do a bit of each discipline, even if it’s not your favourite one. I still get the fear before swim sessions, but enjoy it once I’m there.

Make the most of all the GTC sessions. They are really fun and everyone’s very friendly. I personally enjoy the Rugged Runs.