Meet the Advocate: Ellen Ryan

Last week, we announced the women who are this year's 'Beyond the Finish Line' Advocates. Over the coming days we will be introducing you to each advocate, in their own words.

Today we are introducing Ellen Ryan from TriTanium Triathlon Club in Dublin!

NAME: Ellen Ryan 
TRIATHLON CLUB: TriTanium Triathlon Club 
AGE GROUP: 25-29

Ellen Ryan - Social Graphic

Swim,Bike or Run? Swimming by a mile 
Swim in Open Water or Pool? 100% open water 
Favourite post-training snack?  Poached eggs on brown bread with avocado 
Trail Run or Road Run? trail run 
Sprint,Standard,Middle or Long Distance Triathlon? Standard
Coffee or Cake? Coffee without a doubt 
Favourite motivational song? Don’t stop believing 
One piece of advice for women starting their triathlon journey? Enjoy it. Don’t put pressure on yourself, take it at your own pace. Sometimes things come up that means you can’t train eg. Injury or other commitments etc, don’t let it deter you. These things happen. The MOST important thing is, enjoy it!

I have a passion for life, this shows itself through my commitment to sport (triathlon and hiking) and my love of travelling. I completed my first half Ironman in Mallorca, May 2019 and I will hopefully take on two more in the 2020 season. I have climbed Machu Picchu, Everest Base Camp, Kilimanjaro and hopefully, Kang Yatse II in August. I have traveled around South East Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe. I was born bilaterally deaf. I promised myself when I was a child that I would never let my disability define me or stop me from achieving my dreams and goals. In essence, I believe my deafness made me more ambitious and driven which is reflected in my training and goals. I push myself to the limit and push myself out of my comfort zone.  

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT OF TRIATHLON?

"I was climbing Kilimanjaro for charity in 2016 where I met triathletes from across the country. Their passion and love for the sport inspired me to try a sprint triathlon and from then on I fell in love."

Ellen Ryan - Finish Line CK2018 

IN WHAT WAY DOES BEING A PART OF A CLUB HELP YOUR TRAINING?

"Being part of a club has numerous benefits for training purposes. For me, the best part is those times where you don’t feel like training, your teammates motivate and push you to do it. After the session, you always feel glad that you did it. It definitely makes the training easier and more enjoyable when you have someone to talk to and laugh (or cry) with especially on those long runs/cycles/swims. Training with a club definitely provides more support, structure and improves morale. Having the support of your team members is invaluable. I have become a much better triathlete due to training with my club."

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT TRIATHLON?

"That moment when you cross the finish line in a race, knowing that all your hard work paid off. What once seems impossible became possible. Four years ago if you told me I would do a half Ironman, I would have laughed but now I have achieved that dream. I have made so many friends from all backgrounds around the country, which would not have been possible without Triathlon. The triathlon community is so welcoming, supportive and friendly, it’s hard not to love it."

Ellen Ryan - Finish Line

PLANS FOR THE 2020 SEASON?

"My plan is to do a few sprint and Olympic races in the hope of creating a new PB. I am hoping to do two half Ironman races. For cycling, I will do the Wicklow 200KM and the Ring of Kerry to try build up to the Ironman distance so that hopefully next year I can fulfill my dream of completing an Ironman. For swimming, I will do the Killary Fjord swim, and the Glendalough 3.9KM swim."

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT BEING A 'BEYOND THE FINISH LINE' TRIATHLON ADVOCATE? 

"The opportunity to help women to participate in their first triathlon race. The opportunity to help other women enjoy the sport as much as I do and to challenge themselves. Triathlon is open to all abilities from novice to experienced. It is open to absolutely everyone and anyone can do it! Triathlon plays a huge role in my life. It allows me to take time for myself and I want other women to have that opportunity especially when trying to juggle between work, family and fitness. Given my disability I would love to get more people with disabilities to participate in triathlon. I want to raise the awareness that just because you have a disability it does not mean you can’t do a triathlon. I will look for ways to help people with disabilities to enjoy triathlon more and try to eliminate any barriers that are preventing them from doing a triathlon. Anything is possible. I look forward to helping/encouraging others to take part in triathlon/duathlon/aquathlon."

Beyond the Finish Line_Twitter

Keep an eye on our website as we introduce you to another of our 'Beyond the Finish Line' Advocates tomorrow. If you would like to take the challenge and become a triathlete, read our beginner's guide to triathlon!