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As a Macclesfield based firm, we are proud of the community that we are a part of and as such we are always looking for the next opportunity to support people from the local area, which is why we are delighted to be sponsoring GB Age-group and Macclesfield athlete, Natalie Duncombe.
I’m Natalie and I’m proud to say that I represent Great Britain as part of the British Triathlon Age-group team. I’m currently preparing to represent GB at both European and World Championships this year, but it’s been an interesting journey to be racing at the level I am today, and an opportunity I feel extremely lucky to be able to have.
I’ve been active all my life, getting involved in as many sports teams as possible at school and finding a love for running after I graduated from University. As anyone who runs will attest to, whether achieving a personal best or running a new route for the first time, there so many mental benefits associated with running, whether an amateur or professional. And so I ran, to make friends, keep fit and healthy and be happy.
In 2016, I entered my first ‘race’, a local 10km and it was from here my love for competing started…I won. Over the next 6-months I entered a number of running races and continued to do well, but then fell victim to quite a serious hip injury which hampered my progress as a runner in the short-term.
Following an operation on my hip I took up indoor cycling as a way of keeping my joints moving and rehabilitating my injury. It was a way of being able to get my heart rate up, work towards a goal and still be competitive with myself. It didn’t give me the same satisfaction that running did at first but the more I rode, the more I fell in love with life on two wheels.
Whilst rehabbing my hip I found out about duathlon. I discovered the opportunity to compete at a much higher level than I would ever have been able to as a runner. Natalie the duathlete was born and I’ve been training and competing as a duathlete for the last two and a half years, continuing to learn more about the world of multisport, discover more about myself and push my performance with the support of my tri club and coaches far beyond what I thought was possible.
My first duathlon back in 2017 was far from successful, I didn’t cross the finish line after a collision on the bike leg and my confidence at venturing into this new world of multisport took a hit before it even got started.
I got back outside on two wheels again a few months later and entered a second sprint duathlon. A race open to men and women of all abilities but also a qualifying event for the 2018 European Championships. I’m a strong believer in setting ambitious goals and despite still yet to finish a duathlon I registered my interest to qualify for the GB age-group team in this race.
I won my age-group, secured myself a spot on the team and I knew at this point multi-sport was about to become a very big part of my life.
In the past two years I’ve competed in two European Championships, placing 5th in my age-group in Ibiza in 2018 and last year winning my first European silver medal and finishing 5th overall in Romania. That feeling of standing on the podium in front of my friends, family and team mates is something that will stay with me and motivate me for years to come.
I’ve now set my sights on a solid 2020 season, with two fantastic coaches behind me – preparing to compete at both European and World Sprint Duathlon Championships but also exploring new avenues of the world of multi-sport with my first half-iron distance triathlon on the cards in the middle of the year.
Balancing full-time work and a jammed packed training schedule, I would not have got to this point without the support of my friends, family, team mates and coaches but I’d also like to highlight the importance of my sponsors.
Without either the financial backing or expertise from Thorneycroft Solicitors, Macclesfield Performance and Oxygen Addict Triathlon Coaching I wouldn’t be able to place all my focus on becoming the best athlete I can be.
I can’t wait to see what the season holds, it’s going to be my biggest yet.
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