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Student Completes Triathlon after Shedding Almost Third of Body Weight

A Phd student at the University of Worcester has completed her first triathlon, after shedding four and a half stone in less than six months.

Claire TillyerClaire Tillyer, known as Tilly, has dropped three dress sizes – from a 16 to a 10 – since April and earlier this month came 53rd out of 192 competitors at the Stratford Fun2Tri event.

She signed up for the event in July and embarked on a rigorous training and eating plan.
“I had always been overweight,” said the 26-year-old. “But in April this year, something just clicked and I decided I had to do something. I started a diet and knew I had to exercise as well. So I started doing some swimming and running, and started going to spinning classes, and then in July I entered myself into the triathlon as a goal.

“I’m a determined person and I hate not completing things so I knew I would push myself to train and finish the triathlon.”Claire Tillyer

Tilly, who lives in Faringdon, near Oxford, completed the triathlon, which involved a 400m swim, 23km cycle and 5km run, in one hour, 27 minutes and one second, earlier this month, raising almost £300 for the NSPCC in the process.

“It was really hard and I felt sick at the start,” she said. “But I’m so proud of myself for completing it. I have now entered a full triathlon next year so I’m continuing with my training.”

Tilly, who is a Phd student in the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit at the University of Worcester, has dropped from 14 stone 4lb to 9 stone 11lb.

“I train six times a week now, whether running, spinning or swimming,” she said. “I can’t get enough of it now. When I look back at the way I was, it’s like looking at a different person. I’m so happy now.”