Exmouth’s Katrina targets global ironman glory

PUBLISHED: 14:32 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 11 October 2018

Four Army Ladies’ team members running to the finish and winning gold at the British Triathlon Federation National Club relays. Katrina Rye is second from left. Picture: contributed

Four Army Ladies’ team members running to the finish and winning gold at the British Triathlon Federation National Club relays. Katrina Rye is second from left. Picture: contributed

Archant

An army physiotherapist from Exmouth, who overcame injuries to win a major international triathlon competition, has her sights set on success at a global ironman contest.

Taken from the Ironman 70.3 Calgary after the race. Katrina Rye is in the middle (brown hair). The other two triathletes are novice Army Officers whom Katrina encouraged to take part. Picture: contributedTaken from the Ironman 70.3 Calgary after the race. Katrina Rye is in the middle (brown hair). The other two triathletes are novice Army Officers whom Katrina encouraged to take part. Picture: contributed

Captain Katrina Rye, 27, has netted a place in next year’s World Ironman 70.3 Championships. To top that, she won the English championships last month.

Katrina, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, works alongside NHS personnel to help rehabilitate injured military personnel and civilians at the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

In the summer, she was deployed to Canada where she supported soldiers taking part in British military exercises and herself overcame acute knee and hip injuries.

Katrina had eight weeks to rehabilitate herself from being unable to walk pain-free to reach her goal of competing in her first Ironman 70.3 Calgary, where she finished first in a time of four hours 25 minutes.

On her return to the UK, Katrina led the army ladies’ team to the gold medal in the British Triathlon Relays and, a week later, added to her trophy cabinet by finishing first in the England Middle Distance Triathlon Championships in a time of four hours and 15 minutes, one of the fastest times this year by a British athlete. In doing so, she was crowned Inter-Services (Royal Navy, Army and RAF) Champion.

Katrina said: “I started the Canada triathlon not knowing if my injuries would prevent me finishing. I was extremely proud, representing the British Army, to win the Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Winning the national relay title as part of the army team and then the national individual title was the icing on the cake. I am very excited about racing in next year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships.”

Katrina grew up in Exmouth and attended The Maynard School, Exeter, and Colyton Grammar School before completing a physiotherapy degree at Cardiff University, where she joined the Wales University Officer Training Corps.

Katrina said she owed ‘huge thanks’ to the Army Sports Lottery, her parents John and Penny in Exmouth, and coach Damo Littlewood for their support. She will compete in the World Ironman 70.3 Championship in September 2019 in Nice, France.

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