Like many people, Rachael Goslan, who has been with Glasgow Triathlon Club since 2017, has found exercise and motivation tough during the long months of the Covid pandemic. Thanks to the support of long-standing club member, Ray Loughran, Rachael is pleased to report she is feeling fitter and more motivated.
Rachael is a Community Support worker and also full-time carer of her husband, who has MS and type 2 diabetes. She says: “Lockdown has been a pretty hard. My home life is a tricky one at the best of times.
“We needed to shield my husband during the first wave of Covid and, at times, I’ve had to step back from most group activities to try to keep him safe. My motivation was gone for a good six months. I tried to get out and run but I found it hard.
“But there is one very special person in the club who has helped me so much and that’s Ray. It all began with a small cry for support to get me back running again and since then its gone from strength to strength.
“We meet every week for a socially distanced mid-week run. I’m very pleased to report that over the past few months I’ve been running again very regularly. Ray has also committed to helping me to get back on my road bike once the pandemic situation improves.
“I really do want to say a huge thanks to Ray for his ongoing support at this difficult time.”
From running to triathlon
Rachael came to the triathlon club from a background of running. She says: “I took up running about seven years ago, firstly by myself because like most new runners you tend to think you’re not good enough to run with others.
“Once I found the confidence to turn up to different running groups I realised how silly I’d been. I’ve now completed a range of events from 5k all the way to ultras. I love to run.”
Triathlon provided a new goal for Rachael. She says: “I liked the idea of the challenge of triathlon. I can run, I can swim but it’s just the bike part that really scares me as I’ve not had lots of experience on bikes. With Ray’s support I hope to get back on my bike and give it another shot.”
While running is still a firm favourite for Rachael, she confesses she also really enjoys swimming. She says: “The club has been great for my running and swimming. I live close to Bellahouston Park so its handy for me to be able to pop down to the Thursday night run sessions when I’m able to.
“No one likes doing intervals alone… Well I don’t. I’d rather have the support of others to push me.
“I have seen the most improvements in my swimming since joining GTC. I can’t always attend regular training but I love that I can go on the Facebook page and follow small training sessions at my own leisure.”
Races and successes
Since joining GTC – and before March 2020 – Rachael has enjoyed taking part in couple of duathlons and a few open water swim events.
She says: “I do always giggle at myself when I think back to my first open water event. I wasn’t great at sighting and I swam straight into one of the markers! I’m a bit better at it now.
“One of my proudest moments was completing the Great Scottish swim 5k in 2018.”
Her favourite races are still running. She says: “A standard 10k is a tough race because it’s a hard distance to hold a certain pace but it’s over pretty quickly.
“I must say I do enjoy an ultra, too, and again it’s the challenge of it that attracts me. My last one was in 2019 when I took part in the K24 12-hour event at Dean Castle Country Park, East Ayrshire.”
Rachael is also proud of when she finished her first marathon, the Liverpool Rock n Roll in 2016. She adds: “Another great moment was running the Point to Pinnacle race in my home state of Tasmania in Australia. It was a half marathon that takes you all the way to the top of Mt Wellington, 1300 metres above sea level.”
Rachael had entered a short course tri just before the pandemic hit and she hopes, with Ray’s cycling support, to find the enthusiasm again to work towards her goal of completing her first triathlon. She had also entered the GTC Big Bobble Hats Bishopbriggs Triathlon, which has been postponed.
Rachael says: “My goal for this season, if possible, is to do my first full triathlon and I’d like to tackle another ultra running race. I’d really like to get my fitness back to where it was a couple of years ago.”
She also has aspirations to complete a longer-distance triathlon. She says: “After my years of watching triathlon on TV, I do have a not-so-secret desire to do a half ironman event. After that who knows? Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, which I’ve proved to myself on more that one occasion now.”
Rachael’s triathlon tips
Don’t be scared like I’ve been in the past. Remember that everyone has to start at the beginning.
Get yourself a training buddy
Just have a go. For me, it’s time to get back on my bike.