For our next blog we have the pleasure of introducing the fabulous Rebecca Geekie. We've known Becky for three years now having attended the annual Bike/Tri Expo at EventCity in Manchester. Not only does she do an amazing job running the event, but she's also an experienced triathlete. Here's her story...
My fitness journey...
I started swimming at about 9 years old for a local club (Buntingford Swimming Club) and stayed there training and competing until I was about 16 and then teenage life kind of took over and I didn’t swim much then, I was more into my horse riding to be honest at that stage. At school I always got roped into the Cross Country running team and athletics but never really enjoyed it. As for cycling, well I could ride a bike but wasn’t interested in cycling until I took up triathlon. It was my boyfriend at the time (now husband) that got me into triathlon, he entered us into a local sprint triathlon during the summer holidays at university and that’s when we both caught the bug. I did one Olympic distance the following year and then stepped it up to 7 events (mainly sprint distance) the year after that. 2017 will be my 5th year taking part in triathlons and it is the first year I have taken part in a half ironman distance event at Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh last weekend. So it was actually the sport that got me involved in working for the Bike & Tri Expo.
What do you enjoy/dislike about triathlon?
The bits I love/hate have definitely changed over the last few years. When I first started triathlon I always enjoyed the swim the most because I had swam a lot as a kid so was reasonably good at it. I didn’t enjoy the bike mainly because I hated hills, I just couldn’t make my legs turn enough and I’m not going to lie there were a lot of tears one training holiday in Wales. All it took was a bit of training though and now the bike is my favourite discipline, I love (well like) the hills now and just enjoy getting out on my bike. The running has always been the hardest part for me and probably always will be although getting some winter miles in my legs has helped this year.
Best advice I could give...
Anyone can do a triathlon, people have this perception of triathlon as being a really long distance, fast paced sport because that’s what we see on the TV. But actually there are so many short distance triathlons out there for example a super sprint which is 200m swim, 10km bike and a 2.5km run. You can do it as fast or as slow as you want, just take the plunge and give it a go. I promise you will love the feeling of people cheering you and the achievement of finishing a triathlon. For example, my mum has been to watch me at a few triathlons if you looked at her you would say no way would she be taking on a triathlon this year, but she is! She has entered a sprint triathlon and doesn’t care if she is the last one over the line she just wants to get round and give herself a challenge. It is a great way to improve your health and fitness, and with the 3 disciplines it takes the pressure off many injuries that people get from just running.
Adding my experience to the show
It’s great fun to be able to use my experience as a triathlete that used to come to these events as a visitors and bring that into the show. It helps to know about the sport and know what people want to see at the show. And then of course when it all comes together and you see happy faces walking round the show and people having fun being coached in the endless pool or taking part in a class there is great satisfaction in that.
It is great to have ZAAZEE back with us for what I think is the third year. In 2017, the ZAAZEE team ran some fantastic yoga classes for runners, cyclists and swimmers which were so popular with our visitors. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2018!
About the show
The Tri Expo and Bike Expo are a great place for visitors to pick up new kit for the season, for example your wetsuit, helmet or new clothing. The shows also provide visitors with the chance to learn new skills in our seminars or be coached in the endless pool. Many of the brands put on fun challenges during the weekend with a prize up for grabs for the winners. We also have many pro athletes talking on our stage inspiring our visitors to give triathlon a go or for those that already take part in triathlon to take it to the next level.
What people come to seeZAAZEE of course! People are always very excited to see the wetsuit brands for example HUUB, Zoot, Blueseventy, Orca etc. as many people don’t get the chance to try on a wetsuit before they buy but if they come to the show they can try it on and even get in the pool to give it a test. Bike brands are also very popular with Trek and Bianchi being very popular ones last year.
My favourite triathlete...
The Brownlees are obviously up there, especially with Alistair’s amazing move to 70.3 this year he’s done so well. But I still think Chrissie Wellington is my favourite triathlete, I read her book right at the start of my journey into triathlon and was so inspired by her story of how she got into triathlon and became four time Ironman world champion. It’s a great read.
I do end up spending a lot of time in Manchester although I still don’t know my way around it very well . I met with Deborah the other day in the Northern Quarter there’s some really cool quirky coffee shops there which was really nice. There are also some great swimming venues in Manchester with USwim at Salford Quays and I went for a swim in Sale Waterpark the other day which was just beautiful.
My fitness goals...
My fitness goals for this year are too improve on all of my times from last year at the Slateman Triathlon, Sandman Triathlon and Snowman Triathlon. My main goal for this year was to get round Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh in one piece, never having done this distance before I really didn’t know how I would fair last weekend. For anyone that doesn’t know this distance its a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run.
The morning of the event saw the swim cut short as the sea was too choppy. Battle the ridiculous waves for 950m was hard enough, I don’t know how I would have got round 1.9km!! It was out onto the bike and the first 5km was flat and fast which lured me in to false sense of security (or more ‘this seems easy’). Then came the hills and the winds!! It was a beautiful bike course through the Lothians but wow was it windy and lots of climbing with a headwind all the way back into Edinburgh. The bagpipes and support from the local community around the course kept a smile on my face. Finally, the sun was out for the gruelling half marathon at the end, it was tough going on the already knackered legs but I got to the finish line eventually and surprising in great spirits! It was a long and hard day out on the course but loved every minute of it (perhaps not the swim so much) and I finished in a time I was happy with, 6hrs 8mins. Not breaking any records but good for my first attempt.
I bought a pair of ZAAZEE blue Zara capris leggings at the 2016 show. They are so comfy for the gym and for running, and still look great. They understand women's kit well and look great on too!
Thank you for reading, Rebecca xxRegister your interest in next year's Bike & Tri Expos here! The Expo returns to EventCity Manchester on 10th & 11th March 2018! Follow on instagram.