Optician Anna eyesworld triathlon medal

Anna Turvey from Seaburn is to compete in the world triathlon championships.

Anna Turvey from Seaburn is to compete in the world triathlon championships.

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BY day she’s an optician, but once Anna Turvey puts down the glasses she transforms into an iron woman.

Despite only doing her first triathlon two years ago, the 31-year-old has proven her worth in the triple discipline sport and is now limbering up to compete on the world stage.

After winning her age group in the British National Championships and again at the European Championships, the 31-year-old of Ashbrooke has qualified to battle it out with the best of the best at the World Championships in Beijing in September.

Representing Great Britain, Anna will undertake a gruelling 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run.

The former St Anthony’s pupil only took up the sport as an alternative to going to the gym, but she soon realised it was a field in which she excelled.

She said: “I was really surprised to win the British nationals. I went with the hope of qualifying for the World Championships but I never expected to win. It was only two years ago in May that I did my first triathlon ,which was in Darlington.

“As a non-professional triathlete, the World Championships is pretty much the biggest thing you can do at that distance of racing.

“I’m really excited to go. It’s a chance of getting a medal which is something I never thought I would do.”

Since deciding to take up triathlons, Anna now devotes her spare time to honing her skills and spends up to 12 hours a week training while also doing strength and conditioning work.

“I try to do two to three sessions of each discipline each week, but it’s not always possible because of work commitments,” she said.

“With running and biking you do have to train, but there also has to be some level of natural ability there, but with swimming it’s a lot more skill-based, so it takes more hard work.”

As part of her training schedule, Anna will undertake an Iron Man 70.3 race in Antwerp, Belgium, in a fortnight which involves a 1900m swim, 56-mile bike ride and a half-marathon run.

Anna hopes the race will play to her strengths of longer bike and run lengths while also giving her the chance to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships held in Las Vegas in September.

* The cost for competing and getting to triathlons runs into thousands and Anna is looking for sponsors to help her pursue her dreams of becoming a world champion.

Any businesses or individuals who can help can contact Anna on 281 8633 or at annaturveytriathlon@hotmail.co.uk

Follow Echo reporter Katy Wheeler on Twitter