Meet the Member – Dee Needham
When did you join Pulse?
Had you any experience of Triathlon before joining the club?
No, I swam competitively as a teenager and also did a bit of track and cross country running in school (not that you’d know!). I cycled on my Raleigh Wispa from morning swims in Balrothery to school in Rathmines and back again for the evening swim session, so an Aquabike of sorts a few days a week. Does that count?
How and why did you get started in Triathlon?
My Dad was fascinated by it. He was a Marathon runner and a strong swimmer. So in the late 80s, Dad was running, I was swimming and triathlon was getting a bit of press. We used to marvel at how anyone could do a triathlon. It seemed like such an impossible feat. So I guess it was always there niggling since I was a kid. I went to support a friend doing TriAthy in June 2016 and I thought it was about time I gave it a shot. I joined Pulse and did my first triathlon in August 2016. Dad passed away in 2009 and I think about him during every race.
What was your first race?
TriAthlone Sprint, a few weeks after joining Pulse. A group of us newbies headed down. The run was around the town and because it was a 7pm start on a Saturday night, a lot of the supporters were standing outside the pubs with drinks in hand. I really wanted to be them, and not me. Once you cross that finish line for the first time though, you’re kind of hooked.
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
Sprint distance. I like the all out fast pace. Although the swim in Jailbreak Olympic from Spike Island back to Cobh is pretty amazing. It was an honour to be allowed race in our own Sprint at Port Beach last year. The swim is gorgeous (even if it was freezing) and the bike and run are great. As a competitor, the whole set up is fantastic and the support from club mates out on the course was unreal. Probably my favourite race so far.
What’s your most embarrassing or funny race/training story?
I’ve plenty of them but going on my ear at the dismount line in front of the crowd and Pulse supporters last Sunday was pretty embarrassing! Thankfully, no photos have emerged yet.
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
That’s a really difficult one because I have so many. Being at the Triathlon Ireland Awards when Pulse won Club of the Year in 2017 was pretty special – although I was in the bathroom at the time and missed the presentation!
The Mallorca warm weather training camps have been brilliant too. Away with club mates, swimming in an outdoor heated pool in the morning, out on the bike all day, running in the evening if you fancy it, or just soaking the legs in the cold water pool and having the craic with the gang. Dinner together in the evening and maybe one or two in the bar as we discuss the cycling plans for the following day. It’s just bliss.
I love the simple things too. A sunny evening at track or Corkagh Pk with everyone, the nights out, being altogether at races. It’s always a laugh. Being with Pulsers anywhere usually creates a great memory.
What’s the best thing about being in a club?
The people. Without question. The craic and banter is brilliant. We’re not short of characters and comedians! The camaraderie, the slagging, the shared experience, the support, the friendships that are formed. The training is also second to none. Not sure any other club has the same suite of training sessions that we do. There’s a huge wealth of experience to draw on and everyone is very helpful.
What’s next for you?
I had planned on doing the BMW National Series but have a nasty sinus infection for the last few weeks so that has scuppered things a bit. I’ll see if I can get the four races done before the end of the season but will just have to wait and see.
I’ll do my Level 2 Coaching before the end of the year though and I love working with Liz and the Juniors so hope to continue with that. The future of the club is bright when you see how hard working and talented they are.