One of the most remarkable members of Thanyapura Pro Triathlon Team who has been beating all men and women is a New Zealander, Amelia Rose Watkinson, 24 who is originally from Auckland where she gained inspiration, motivation, and love in training.
“I have lived in Auckland most of my life but for the last 18 months, I’ve been in Hawke’s Bay. I’ve been doing sport ever since I was in high school.”
She noted about the Pattaya Triathlon she went to with her fellows of Thanyapura professional triathlon team that it was an amazing experience to explore a local place while the result was also appreciated.
“I was stoked to cross the finish line in first place, with a 10 minute lead to second place. Truly awesome atmosphere at the finish”
“It was interesting experiencing the local culture race day evening and to see the transformation of the streets we’d raced on that morning!”
She continued about her childhood and her dream to become a basketball player. However, back then she did not realize that triathlon was a thing. After bike and run training, she learned that she can get along well with triathlon.
“For the international competition, I probably started later than most (of the people). I was competitive in cycling and running through school but I didn’t do any international competition until I become a triathlete and qualified for Age Group World Champs 2012 in Spain.”
Whether she was a cyclist, runner or when she became a triathlete, Amelia has always attended the local competitions to keep the passion on.
“Last season I raced New Zealands main Half Ironman distance races and as many domestic cycling races as I could”
“Local racing definitely has its place, limited hassle or cost associated with travel, having friends, family and supporters there, and for you to give back to the community and have local engagement.”
“For now, triathlon motivates me and I’m pretty good at it. I’m hoping I can be even better”
Since very young, Amelia has grown up in a healthy environment and got encouragement to train. That’s where all her great passion comes from.
“In my last year at school, I was chosen for the national secondary school championship. It was a big accomplishment for me at that time. ”
She won 20 Auckland’s and New Zealand national competitions and started triathlon in 2010. The competitions include New Zealand Triathlon Youth Academy, Australasia Cross Country Champs Brisbane, Auckland Cross Country Running Series Overall, ITU U19 Australasia Triathlon Champs Canberra.
In 2011, she went a step further when she reached the fifth place at the Taupo Half Ironman and became the 1st of New Zealand Duathlon Champs in the same year.
She has been doing more than 20 races including a half marathon, triathlon, half ironman, cycling and running races domestically and internationally while getting the first place in many of them.
She said that, at many stages, life brought her some tough choices to decide but the decision she made was pretty clear and she was heading to the right way.
“When in high school I had to choose between basketball and cycling and I consulted with family members. We finally agreed that cycling is the better answer so, I chose cycling and I became good and I enjoyed it so, I kept it going.”
She chose and actually impressively did it quite well. Many small and big competitions can be a good proof such as 2016 programs – Dynamo Cycling Series The Final, Tokoroa in April, Gentle Annie Bike Race, Taihape in March, Dynamo Cycling Series Race 5, Pokeno in March, Women REV Classic, Cambridge in February, HUB Cycle Tour, Hawkes Bay in January where she reached first in all competitions.
After graduating in Architecture, Amelia found a part time job that was convenient for her training and explained that it was great to have a good balance between the two.
“I found that part-time study or work allowed me to train and recover a lot better.”
“I always balance training and studying quite nicely and found them a good combination. I really enjoy having the two dimensions of my life.”
However, time passed, and life created tough choices for her to make again.
“Last year, I struggled a bit with injury. I had a stress fracture in my hip which put me out for 5-6 months from running and then again some tendon issues in the same area. During that time, I had a little bit of self-doubt. But the injury has its positives. Being able to pour all my energy into swimming which is was my weakest disciple needed to happen and I made big gains. Mentally it challenged me, it ultimately made me more determined. Persistence is a big part of the sport and injury is part of the learning curve. It also teaches you patience”
“When I had to make a choice between taking a job or being a professional triathlete, I thought that it’s a unique lifestyle being able to prioritise exercise. I enjoy the mental and physical challenges of pushing the boundaries. Getting the most out of my body, rain or shine. Achieving my own goals and encouraging others to do the same. The endorphins after exercise are pretty good too.”
She said, no matter how tired she is, she always craves to work out. Exercise is her passion and it doesn’t make her exhausted, instead, feeling so good.
“I’m quite self-motivated and driven and I find exercise really takes my mind off other things. It’s a constructive way to destress. I know that to get to the next level and be a pro athlete, you’ve to take one step above there and be really focused on a specific goal.”
“Friends and family all know that even if we’ve got a full-on day or we are traveling, they’ve got to let me go for at least a half an hour run.”
“Sometimes even if you’re tired and don’t feel like training, after working out a while, you’ll actually feel better, it’s a careful balance between overdoing it though.”
“I’ve always been part of a training group or club, with training sessions to join into. I like training with other people and groups, it forms a supportive environment and it’s really motivating. Although some training sessions by myself are important, it’s good thinking time.”
She said it is a great opportunity to be chosen to be a part of Thanyapura Pro Tri team to train in a warmer climate with great facilities, among great company.
“Thanyapura has amazing facilities, we don’t have many outdoor 50 meters pool in New Zealand. Not to mention the all the indoor training classes, running track, amazing gym and all so well organized. Coaches and staff are great, friendly and all about balanced, healthy and happy.
“At this stage in my sporting career, the Thanyapura Pro Tri team is the perfect opportunity – escape the New Zealand winter with world class facilities at my front door. Time to focus on the ins and outs of the sport and quality recovery
and nutrition. And the chance to meet and train with like-minded, motivated and inspirational people.
Her coming competitions are Ironman 70.3 in Busan, South Korea on June 19 and 70.3 Ironman Asia Pacific Champs in Cebu, the Philippines on August 7.