Wiggle Challenge ambassador Courtney Granger never backs down from a challenge. In only two years since taking up cycling, she's competed in time trials, qualified as a Breeze ride leader and fallen in love with triathlon.
We're proud to be supporting Courtney this year in her triathlon challenges. Here's a bit more about her.
Meet our other Challengers
My name is Courtney. I am 27 years old and I work as a nurse in the NHS.
I jumped at the chance to be part of the Wiggle Challenge campaign because I want to show people that anyone at any age can have a go at cycling or triathlon and you don’t need lots of fancy equipment to take part at events. Even if I can just inspire one other person to try a triathlon or get on their bike that’s a win to me.
Throughout school and sixth form, I wasn't sporty at all and I couldn't think of anything worse than PE. My introduction to exercise came thanks to a knee injury. I started working with a personal trainer and threw myself into the gym. I loved how I got stronger and built up muscle to keep my knee in check.
I became focused on weight loss, looks and increasing the weight I could lift. It wasn’t particularly healthy alongside my stressful job, but I loved how it felt to exercise and be more healthy.
I started cycling around two years ago with my brother and I loved it! I rode a hand-me-down bike and wore my brother's old kit. I had the best time and remember being overwhelmed at being able to cycle 20 miles.
Before I knew it I'd up for a Ride London charity place in 2018 - I needed a goal to aim for and naturally love a challenge. I bought a bargain bike frame which my brother skilfully built up into the trusty road bike that I still ride today.
However, as much as I love cycling and the gym it didn’t seem to fill the 'hole' I had and after the challenge of Ride London I wanted to keep pushing myself to see what I was capable of. Triathlon was the obvious next step.
In 2019 my friend Leila suggested joining her to complete Hanningfield Triathlon. Two slight problems though - I didn’t run or swim!
Thankfully, with the support network I'd built through cycling I found a wealth of experience I could draw on, as well as plenty of training buddies.
I would not be where I am without the immense amount of support and advice I get from my friends and people around me and I'd love to spread the word and make people aware of what's out there.
If I hadn’t gone to an information evening at a local bike shop I would never have gone on that first group ride. Without that first group ride, I would not have my support team. let alone a fab group of friends who are always up for a cafe bike ride and a chat. I learnt the majority of my bike skills through them and we even share kit.
I also found run and swim buddies through my little network of active women. I’d love for more people to have the chance of experiencing this.
The Hanningfield Tri got me hooked and I've finally found my 'thing'. I love the variety and the friendliness of the triathlon world. Plus, when you're training for three sports you're never bored.
However, the bike is my first love and I'm now a fully-trained Breeze Ride Leader in Essex so I can share the love and help new ladies get into cycling.
I love the freedom cycling gives me and I've also enjoyed taking advantage of opportunities to try racing recently.
Since starting this triathlon and cycling journey I’ve lost over a stone in weight and have been the happiest I have been in a while.
That's not to say it's all easy. Social media can be a bit of a highlight reel, where you see all the polished and glamorous side of sports. In reality, training usually consists of 5am alarms, crying after struggling through a session, and sometimes just feeling pants. But there’s nothing better than reaching your goal or achieving something you didn’t think was possible.
Training is not just successes but lots of fails and getting back up again but with the right support, you can achieve all sorts!
Courtney's 2020 Triathlon Challenges
- Take ten minutes off my 2019 time on Hanningfield Sprint Triathlon. This was my first ever tri and I completed it in 1hr 51mins but I never got round to entering a second event due to injury.
- Complete an Olympic Triathlon which means I need to build my fitness and endurance.
- Complete Ride London in under six hours. The weather was horrific for my first attempt in 2018 - I was soaked, I was an inexperienced cyclist and I injured myself at 88 miles. I’d like to better that!
- Complete Swim Serpentine. I could only swim 500m very slow breaststroke when I started. Plus, who isn’t after a Classics medal?
- Continue to compete in time trials. I used to just sit in the car when I took my brother to compete. Now I love it - it’s a great fitness marker and a fun way to push myself.
- Lead 20 Breeze rides through the year. I love being a Breeze ride leader and seeing more new faces out cycling every time.