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Last month Kate Williams, 67, represented Great Britain in the World Triathlon Series in Mexico, to raise money for Cecily’s Fund.

High humidity and a very good cause

Last month Kate Williams, 67, represented Great Britain in the World Triathlon Series in Mexico, to raise money for Cecily’s Fund


"I hope it encourages other people of my age to do something like this or pick up any kind of sport in their older age"

“It was the heat really that got to me there,” Kate Williams says to OXHC about her recent “gruelling” athletic endeavour – the World Triathlon Series held in Mexico.

 

“I found the run very difficult as a lot of people did. It was a beautiful run, but it was very hot and humid. In high humidity the sweat doesn’t evaporate so you get hotter and hotter. Quite a number of people gave up or passed out.”

The swimming leg of the event also had its difficulties. An unexpected current meant Kate “did a much slower time” than she thought she would – even though she describes the ordeal as not “too arduous” given the warm temperature of the sea.

The current in question meant certain competitors had to be taken out of the water and disqualified. “I did feel very sorry for people who had to be pulled out,” says Kate, then citing a disqualified acquaintance of hers. “Her swimming wasn’t her strong point, but she’s an exceedingly good runner, she would have made up her time no problem.


 

“In the end it comes down to a safety issue,” she states. “If people have been in the water for that long and they haven’t trained for doing a long swim it’s possible they might hit difficulties. Also there was a schedule to keep. The particular group I was in was slow because of the current. They’d already put the next wave of people coming in back half an hour so I think they were under pressure to get everybody though.”

While she admits she didn’t finish “in a wonderful time”, finish she did, and for “a very good cause”. Kate took part in the series in order to raise money for Cecily’s Fund, a charity striving to provide Zambia’s orphans and vulnerable children with an education – an area Kate sees as “often overlooked. The children are left with no parents and nobody to look after them or their education which would get them out of the poverty they’re in.”

The charity was founded by Alison Eastwood, so as to carry on with the work of her daughter Cecily, who died aged 19 whilst volunteering at a Zambian orphanage. “Alison has turned the fund into a very good, flourishing charity that does a lot of very good work,” Kate confirms.

Her sporting activities might have other positive effects. “I hope it encourages other people of my age to do something like this or pick up any kind of sport in their older age,” the 67 year old, who ran the first London Marathon in 1981, says. As well as feeling “a lot better and healthier” for exercising as she does, she also draws attention to how social being an athlete can be. “I joined the Abingdon and Vale Triathlon Club and they have been incredibly supportive. I would recommend anybody thinking of doing something like this to join a club along those lines.”

For more on Abingdon and Vale Triathlon Club click here.

For more on Cecily’s Fund click here.

 

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