My name is Isla Britton.
I am a 16-year-old Triathlete living in Glasgow, Scotland but I was born in Montreal, Canada and moved to Scotland when I was 5 years old. Some of my best achievements are: 2x British Triathlon Champion, 2018 Super League Youth Champion, 3x Quebec Champion and 3x Scottish Triathlon Champion.
I started doing Aquathlon (swim-run) when I was 8 and did my first triathlon at the age of 9. It wasn’t the greatest start… I came off my bike after hitting the kerb on a sharp turn but got back on and finished despite a few bent bits on my bike and body! Back then cycling was my weakness. Fast-forward 7-years and cycling is my favourite and best part of triathlon!
2018 was a pretty good year for me. It started a little rocky as I struggled to find my feet at the start of the year after the jump from Tristar racing to youth, however, throughout the season I gradually got better and better. I came 3rd overall in British Super Series but more importantly I became British Youth Triathlon Champion in September; even though I was a year young. But the cherry on the top this season was getting the chance to go to Jersey and Race the youth Super League event. The Super League event was in conjunction with the elite race, which was a fantastic experience to have. Super league was one of my best races this year and the most enjoyable.
After a dream end to the season I was excited to get a good solid winter of training and continue to improve, however, this winter has not gone to plan. After my season finished I was constantly sick which was very frustrating but nothing major…but then in December I started to feel worse and worse and then got diagnosed with Mononucleosis (Glandular Fever)! I was in so much pain and unable to move off the sofa for about a month, let alone train. I will save you all the details of that month but let’s just say that it was trying and very uncomfortable. But being sick wasn’t even the worse part, after getting the all clear to come back to training I was excited but being so far off where I wanted to be was trying my patience a lot. Just being so much slower than what I expected was hard, very hard but I just needed to tell myself to keep working because it will come.
There have been many tears over that last few months as I would run out of patience but I just continued to work hard. Now I feel better but still not training 100% as I need to let my body recover, but I am seeing improvements with every session and hoping I am going to be ready for the start of the season in May. I am no stranger to adversity; in 2016 my older brother passed away very unexpectedly from having a seizure during the night. This, as you would expect was an enormous thing to handle. It still is. However, I have learnt ways to handle my emotions and channel them so that they make me work harder.
A message I would like to share from my experiences: bad things happen in life and you need to except that, however big your problems may seem at that time you will get over them and you will get stronger. If your plan doesn’t go the way you want, you just to need to make a new plan and work hard.
Just believe in yourself a little
You can follow Isla & her journey on Instagram