Mum Candice selected for GB triathlon team

Candice Heys (s)

Candice Heys (s)

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Barrowford athlete Candice Heys is tri-ing - and has succeeded - in securing a Great Britain vest for a second time in a different sport.

The 38-year-old represented her country in the mountain running European Championships in Germany in 2008 where she helped GB win the ladies team gold.

Candice Heys (s)

Candice Heys (s)

Now she has just completed the Shropshire Triathlon which was a qualifier for 2017 ETU European Triathlon Championships which will be held in Austria in 2017.

There are two other qualifying events in Liverpool and Worthing but Candice won her age category at Shropshire and has now been selected for Team GB

Mother-of-one Candice had to complete a 1500m swim, a 40k cycle race and a 10k run and she finished second female overall and was first in her 35-39 age group.

She completed her swim in 21 minutes and 32 seconds, her bike in one hour eight minutes and run in 40 minutes and 32 seconds meaning her overall time, with transitions, was two hours 12 minutes and 10 seconds.

“I won my age group and was so excited to hear I had qualified,” said Candice. “It’s amazing as I never expected it.

“I have never done this kind of level of event before and have only done a few local triathlons.

“It all looked so professional and I was really glad I had practised all the little things like having cycle shoes attached to my bike for the transition - it can make a big difference.”

It’s been a tough road for Candice who, having been a strong runner representing Clayton-le-Moor Harriers and Lancashire as well as Team GB, has battled with injury since 2010 which forced her to focus on other sports.

“I have really struggling with running due to problems with my knees and then suffered spondylolithesis in my spine causing nerve problems down my left leg.

“My knees are irreparable due to wear and tear and my back is not really an injury but a major operation is needed to correct it - although I have had two injections which have helped.

“But I love sport and couldn’t give it up so decided to focus on triathlon’s last September with swimming and cycling having less stress on those areas.

“That’s why I was happy to complete the 10k. I was expecting 43-45 minutes so 40.32 was a nice surprise.

“My aim was for a top 10 in my age group so I couldn’t believe I was first - and it still hasn’t really sunk in.

“My daughter Taylor and husband Steve have been a massive support as has my friend Tanja Slater who was once a professional triathlete. All three believed in me more than I have in myself.”