I'm Deborah Longman, otherwise known as 'The Unlikely Triathlete'. Back in 2010 I had the flu which damaged my heart and made me diabetic. I had a couple of years of being really quite unwell.
The day after the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, I had the chance to meet Joanne Rowsell, Olympic Gold Medalist from Great Britain's cycling team. Joanna inspired me so much I decided to give cycling a go.
I hadn't ridden a bike in 24 years, however, it all came back to me and I loved it.
I then did my first pool based sprint triathlon in 2015 after starting the couch to 5k programme. I did the swim portion doggy paddle as I couldn't stick my head in the water!! I can now swim front crawl. I got a bit addicted to triathlon and became an Ironman in 2017. (All of this is plotted on my Unlikely Triathlete facebook page and in my series of books under the same name.)
I ran with Ben during the original 401 challenge and I really believe in his ethos, so I wanted to be part of the USA Virtual Challenge to show support. I am absolutely loving it! Getting the postcards as I hit a new capital has been a real motivator in what has been a challenging year.
The challenge has given me a focus outside of my stressful job, as working for the NHS in a global pandemic is hard work, so having the release of being able to swim, bike or run and get it on a map is fantastic.
I would recommend anyone to get involved. I'm close to getting my second medal and t-shirt for completing the second stage and I am very excited about it. As a podgy, middle-aged diabetic, it is a great way to maintain my fitness when there are no triathlons to enter. It really is for everyone.
If you want to join Deborah and take part in one of our Virtual USA Challenge missions, you can register HERE, where will your adventure take you?