Exmouth's Lucy takes bronze at ITU Aquabike World Championships in Denmark
PUBLISHED: 09:36 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 01 August 2018
Triathlete Lucy Richardson returned from the Fyn ITU Multisport World Championship Festival held in Odense, Denmark, where she competed in the ITU Aquabike World Championships, with a bronze medal.
Exmouth-based Lucy, who lives and works in the area – she and her husband, together with her parents, run the Beach Shop and Juicy Lucys Surf Shack on the seafront – spends two-thirds of her year in the town and the other third travelling, a lifestyle that she describes as: “The best I could wish for!”
As for how she got into the sport of triathlon, Lucy says: “I have always been generally ‘sporty’ and it was during a bike ride along a beach in Mexico I first decided that, when I got home, I was going to try a triathlon.”
She continued: “I was turning 34 that year and figured it was a case of ‘now or never’!”
An all-round sporting lady, Lucy moved to Exmouth at the age of 10 and swam for the town’s swimming club for six years – she was also a member of the town’s beach rescue team and competed in surf lifesaving competitions.
She also found time to play football for Brixington Blues before going on to play ladies’ football with Exmouth and Budleigh ladies – amongst others – before quitting football in 2016 owing to her passion for tackling triathlon. As for the journey into triathlon, Lucy says: “I started with a women-only triathlon on a borrowed bike that was too big, but I won that race and that had me hooked!”
She continued: “I did a few sprint distance races before going up to Olympic distance races.
“I then decided that I was probably made for endurance races and, after going to Thailand on a triathlon camp and enjoying longer rides and swims, I entered my first Ironman 70.3 in Thailand in 2016.
“I loved it, despite the crazy heat and humidity, and got a slot at the world championship, but sadly I was unable to take it up.
“However, since then I have been able to do Ironman 70.3 Malaysia in 2017 where I won my age group, then Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka where I came second and both times I qualified for Ironman world championship, but again couldn’t take the spot as it’s always in peak work time for me!
“I do hope to get there one day, though, probably when I am retired!”
Lucy took part in the British Middle Distance Championships last year and got a bronze medal.
As for the aquabike event – a swim followed by a bike ride – Lucy says: “I had never taken on an aquabike race before this trip to Denmark, but the run was my weakest discipline, so I just thought I would like it and may be good at it. It was also the first time doing a longer distance race.”
Back in Exmouth, Lucy is not a member of a club and she trains alone.
However, she has travelled out to Thailand in each of the past two UK winter seasons to make the most of a Phuket sports academy that specialises in triathlon training.
She says: “The facilities are world class there and the weather is perfect! I’m lucky to only work seasonally so all my life have been going away travelling during the winters, so I have trained and raced in some amazing places such as Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, St Lucia and America.
“I hope to keep racing around the world and exploring new race destinations.”
So what next for Lucy? She says: “I go to Ibiza for the European Championship at the end of October to do middle distance aquabike.
“That is raced over a course a little shorter than the worlds, a 2km swim and a 90km bike ride.
“Then I will go out to Asia again for the winter where I will do several races, including Laguna International triathlon in November, Phuket classic 100km cycle race in December, Ironman 70.3 Thailand in February, the Tour de Phuket three-day cycle tour in March, and anything else I can find to do.”