Nikki Bartlett wasn’t always on the path to becoming a world-class triathlete, having started out as a successful rower at university.
She was rowing on the GB World Class Start programme but had a string of rib injuries, so she started some cycling for cross training whilst out for the rowing season.
A friend had entered a half IRONMAN, something Nikki wasn’t aware existed, and persuaded her to do it with her.
She bought a road bike from eBay for £150 and some running shoes, and admits she ‘blagged’ the whole race. But she quickly caught the triathlon bug and would switch sports in 2012.
Since then Nikki has tasted plenty of success along the way, including an elusive win at over the full distance at Lanzarote 2019, after 14 previous podiums. That is an achievement Nikki describes as her proudest moment, alongside her First Classification with Honours from The University of Birmingham.
She also claimed a superb first 70.3 victory at Dun Laoghaire in 2019, with a victory margin of more than eight minutes.
Nikki also trains with the Paralympic Squad in Loughborough as a British PTVI (Total or Partial visual Impairment) Guide, and is aiming to take part in next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Bartlett, who is one of the most infectiously positive voices on the circuit, sees her legacy as providing a platform to inspire others to give sport and exercise a go.
She adds: “I love the triathlon community, I love to share and give back to the sport. To be the best you can be is a success, accomplishment and having a lot of fun along the way is a must!”
If Nikki could give one piece of advice to younger triathletes, it would be to always have fun and share the journey with likeminded people. It’s the best way to get the most out of yourself and longevity in the sport.