On International Women’s Day, Grassroots North Wales celebrates the achievements of one of our very best sportswomen.
Rhian Roxburgh is a highly accomplished triathlete competitor and coach from Colwyn Bay.
She started a life of sport in the competitive world of swimming, specialising in butterfly as a child winning both county and national titles, going on to represent the Welsh Universities team whilst studying for a BA in Physical Education in Cardiff.
Her love of swimming saw her qualify as an ASA swim teacher, where she continued to work with children and athletes whilst working in primary education.
A break from the competitive arena ended when Rhian entered her first triathlon in 2005. She found it hard going but mostly enjoyable and has been hooked ever since.
Rhian competed in the World Age Group Championships several times, winning a bronze medal in 2006 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
She was also sixth in the worlds at 30-34 Female AG category in Hamburg (2007) and fourth 30-34 in Vancouver, Canada (2008).
Perhaps her greatest achievement is winning back-to-back gold medals at the European Championships.
In 2010, she landed first place in the F 35-39 age group in Athlone, Ireland, and followed up with another first 35-39 finish at Pontevedra, Spain in 2011.
This led to her winning the British Triathlon Female Age Group Athlete of the Year award.
September 2013 saw Rhian finish 10th in the World Triathlon Grand Final in London.
She is also a Welsh Standard Distance, Sprint Distance, Middle Distance and Aquathlon champion and a silver medalist at the Home Nations Elite Duathlon Championships.
Domestically, she has had great success too.
Race victories include: Bala Standard, Slateman, Sandman, Peak District Triathlon, Milton Keynes Standard, Bala Middle, Tuska, Llandudno Standard, Llandudno Sprint, Abersoch Triple Crown, Fishguard Standard, Wetherby Standard and Harlech Sprint.
Rhian, whose husband Simon is also a high-performing athlete, recalled a time when she participated at a very strong standard.
“I tried my hand on the Elite Circuit back in 2008 competing in the British Elite series and ETU Series, placing in the top 10 among some of the best triathletes of our time, racing the likes of Jodie Stimpson, Helen Jenkins and Flora Duffy to name a few.
“I have enjoyed travelling the world and meeting some of triathlon’s greats as well as the inspirational athletes who compete at all levels, ages and abilities.”
Whilst great fun, with a full time job in teaching Rhian put Elite level aspirations to one side to continue racing as an amateur, with plenty of success.
With a European double and world championship appearances behind her, after Tenby IronMan 2011, she decided that starting a family should come first and two children later – Rosie and Sam – she can fully empathise with the rigours of training whilst pregnant and also managing a busy family life, work and balancing triathlon in that equation.
She added: “I have been a teacher for almost 20 years, however, through the love I have for the sport, and wanting to encourage all abilities into the sport of Triathlon, I have my own business (TriRox Training) working as a full-time triathlon coach.”
Rhian’s coaching qualifications include: level 1,2 and 3 British Triathlon Coach; full swim teachers award; Strength and Conditioning foundation level certificate from UKSCA; British Triathlon Indoor Bike CPD & Strength & Conditioning CPD Credits; BA(ed) Physical Education.
Over the years, she has also tested herself at the extremely challenging Ironman events, competing in the 2019 World Championships in Nice, France, where she placed sixth in age group.
This article really only covers one aspect of Rhian’s sporting life. She is also a massive inspiration to many would-be triathletes and is constantly involved in fund raising events for various charities, as well as being a driving force within the Llandudno-based GOG Triathlon club.
Anyone interested in triathlon should really give her business TriRox Training a try.
On International Women’s Day, it is an honour to feature an athlete and coach as accomplished and dedicated as Rhian Roxburgh.
Click below for link to how to sign up for TriRox Training…..