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Frinton mum qualifies for Duathlon World Championships in the face of adversity

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 26 April 2017

Nicola on her bike - the Frinton mother is looking for sponsorship to help her get to Canada

Nicola on her bike - the Frinton mother is looking for sponsorship to help her get to Canada

Archant

An inspirational Frinton mother will represent Great Britain at the Duathlon World Championships later this year after overcoming adversity to qualify for the international event.

Nicola Welham, from Frinton, has qualified for the Duathlon World Championships in CanadaNicola Welham, from Frinton, has qualified for the Duathlon World Championships in Canada

Nicola Welham, 33, of Beverley Drive, will compete at the championships in Penticton, Canada, in August, after buying her first road bike only last year.

Nicola, who works as a specialist teacher for children with physical or learning difficulties, went through a difficult marriage break-up 18 months ago, and threw herself into physical activity.

She took up competing in sprint duathlons – a three stage event consisting of a 5k run, 20k bike ride, followed by another 2.5k run – while all the time juggling training sessions with looking after her three-year-old son Edward.

Nicola said: “My life took a different path to the one I thought I was taking about 18 months ago.

Nicola says training helped her through a difficult marriage break-upNicola says training helped her through a difficult marriage break-up

“I became a single mum, a role I never imagined myself in, and with the amazing support of family and friends, I stayed focused and positive that things would work out for the best.

“Sport and exercise have always been a passion of mine but when I was low, angry and lost, I found my release in going to the gym, riding my bike or running.

“I was told I had potential to be a strong duathlete and that if I trained hard I could reach the World Championships. I thought the idea was utterly ridiculous.”

Nicola trained hard during the winter months, with friends helping out with childcare duties, but admits there were plenty of times she considered giving up.

She said: “So many days I wanted to quit – the constant guilt that I wasn’t spending enough time with my little boy, the tiredness after four hour training sessions and 4:30am starts, but it was all worth it in the end.”

“I still can’t quite believe I qualified, but I am living proof that if you keep looking forward, stay positive and never give up, anything can happen.”

Nicola needs to raise around £2,500 to attend the championships and is looking for sponsors to help her follow her dream of representing Team GB.

Anyone wishing to donate can visit her JustGiving page here.


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