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Iron lady is for turning...
7:10am Friday 7th September 2012 in News
TRACY Hampson loves making and decorating cakes and until a couple of years ago she loved eating them too... along with chocolate, biscuits, cheese and sausages, plus all the other little temptations that saw her tipping the scales at more than 12 stone.
Now when you are just 5ft 4ins tall that’s hardly the healthiest diet for someone who today has ambitions to tackle one of the world’s toughest sporting challenges!
Tracy (36) took a revealing look at herself one day three years ago and made a decision that was to change her life.
Her iron-willed resolution has had such an impact that this month the new-look Tracy will be lining up for the start of the World Duathlon Championship in France with her ultimate goal being to compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
“I lost four stone by taking up running, then turned to triathlon and duathlon” said Tracy, who lives in Newton.
“My weight went up after years of doing no exercise at all. I also became aware of the amount of saturated fat in some foods and tried to steer clear of these.
“I cut these out. I am proud that I haven’t lost weight by dieting, but by literally sweat and hard work running.”
Tracy discovered a talent for the sport and unleashed a strong competitive streak.
She kicked off her new lifestyle by competing in a number of 5k and 10k races in 2010, followed by more runs including a half marathon in 2011 then the step up to triathlons and duathlons, resulting in a second placed female in duathlon in November last year.
Tracy, married to postman Iain (who also competes in duathlons) takes up her inspiring story: “I wanted to compete in a 70.3 (half Ironman) in 2012 and signed with a coach as I wanted to work from a programme.
"In July I did the Gatorade Big Half at Trentham Gardens and won the first female on my first attempt at this distance.”
Tracy also won first female at the Rossendale Triathlon. The former Haydock High School pupil has now qualified for the GB Age Group team heading for the Duathlon World Championships in Nancy next month.
Tracy added: “I am so proud to be representing Great Britain. With the help of my coach I have achieved the unbelievable in a short period of time, going from being overweight to feeling years younger.
"Next year, I plan to compete in a full Ironman, 140.6 miles in total and I am hoping to qualify for London 2013 ITU Triathlon World Championships.
“My dream is to qualify one day at an official Ironman-branded event, for the Ironman World Championships that are held in Kona, Hawaii every year.
“I am also hoping to find some funding or sponsorship to help me on my way to Kona, then I can fulfil my dream and hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams too.”