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Morgan Marsh – Women in Triathlon

Morgan Marsh – Women in Triathlon

Date: 08 Mar 2022
Posted: 2 years ago

International Womens Day 2022 is all about celebrating the achievements of women, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. It aims to help create a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. To celebrate, we asked some inspiring women in our Triathlon WA community to share why they love the sport, some of their greatest achievements and advice for women who are new to our sport.

Our next profile is Morgan Marsh; TWA Board member and athlete.

How did you get involved in Triathlon?
I have always been sporty and did swim squad as a kid but hadn’t done it in years before getting into triathlons in October 2007. I was a national level fencer in high school and University (I know, odd sport to choose but I got to stab people which was fun) and had been doing mainly gym classes for a few years when a friend convinced me to do an 8 week intro course with her. I started with literally a $99 K-mart mountain bike and couldn’t run 2km without walk breaks! After my first enticer event in December 2007, I was absolutely hooked and went on to do my first Sprint distance, Olympic distance and half ironman in 2009 where I qualified for the World Championships being held in Perth. I then did Olympic distance World Champs in Budapest in 2010 and Sprint distance World Champs in Auckland in 2012 before tackling my first Ironman in 2013. I have now done every distance from Super Sprint (so much fun!) to Ironman and everything in between including adventure racing, SwimRun, Rotto solo, ultramarathons and many Half Ironmans. Currently, thanks to the evil genius that is my husband, I am tackling 40 events during my 40th year and am at event #24 after completing the Rottnest Channel Swim as a duo. My next event will be Karri Valley triathlon.

What do you enjoy most about Triathlon?
Triathlon has saved my sanity. Training provides a stress relief, a break from work and a tangible goal to focus on and work towards. Sometimes it’s also a really good excuse to leave work on time to get to training! I like to challenge myself and push my limits and triathlon gives me that avenue. I also love the friendships I have made along the way. Friends have come in and out of the sport over time (damn these people all having babies) but going to events is almost like a reunion where you can catch up and cheer each other on. I also love that my husband comes to all my events and takes the most amazing photos… I do love seeing him scrambling to get into position when I am coming in or out of transition and popping up all over the course!

What is your greatest achievement in Triathlon, what are you most proud of?
I think that has changed over time. It used to be about results and times, Triathlete of the Year, racing at World Championships etc. In February 2016 I suffered a stroke and that changed my perspectives on a lot of things. I am incredibly lucky that I have no long-term physical or mental impacts from the stroke but now I am most proud of the opportunities triathlon has provided to me and what it has taught me about the things you can achieve if you are willing to put the work in and have sufficient courage and determination to risk it. It is amazing what your body can achieve when your mind is willing! Sometimes it isn’t about the results, podiums, times or personal bests – its about getting to the finish line, or hell, getting to the start line in one piece fit and able to start the race!

What is your advice for any women who are wanting to start participating in Triathlon?
Regardless of whether you think you are too slow, not fit enough, scared of one or more of the legs, think you will look horrendous in skin tight lycra – give it a go! Triathlon is a sport that is open to anyone and is an incredible, supportive and inclusive community. I heard someone say recently that if they could bottle the feeling of happiness and accomplishment when you cross a finishing line – there would be no need for drugs! You cannot beat the feeling!

What are some of the benefits you have seen for females in our sport?
I have seen triathlons change people’s lives. Friends who started out like me, uncertain what they had signed up for, going on to be professional triathletes with successful careers and coaching businesses. Not to mention the simple things like fitness, health, confidence, friends, experiences – races are a fantastic excuse for a holiday! With three sports, it opens the doors to so many opportunities that you might not otherwise be exposed to.

Anything else you’d like to talk about or share for International Womens Day?
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Like a lot of people, I have struggled with body image, perception of weight, self-consciousness, self-doubt. I am not the traditional ‘triathlete’ figure and no matter what I do – I am never going to be. But that’s ok. I have recently started to acknowledge and appreciate just how amazing my body is and what it can achieve. Be kind to yourself. Have confidence in yourself. And take the risks when they are presented – they may scare you but they could lead to some incredible experiences and opportunities.