GSU British Championships 2016 – Harrogate

Long Cycle Medal Winners
Long Cycle Medal Winners

The GSU British Championships 2016 held on 12th November in Harrogate turned out to be a great competition for me. Excellently organised by the Big Kat team. Well-run competitions keeping to time are appreciated. It helps lifters know when they will be lifting regarding warm up and preparation and spectators don’t get too bored waiting for things to watch. GSU results are also available super efficiently as they are updated during the competition which means results can be announced not long after the last flights. So perfect all round!


Training and Illness

Back on the 20kg bell, in theory for the longest training cycle I’d ever managed at this bell weight, this could have been a great event and let me get close to the required CMS numbers. My previous ever best being from a local training/competition with non-pro judges so not counting. I’d also never managed to last ten minutes before either. And let’s not mention that my technique is so much better than a year ago too.

However, best-laid plans and all that. After having a bit of a step back (all of volume, intensity, and weight) in summer after Latvia, I had maybe a month of decent training and then I got a bad cold. Which decided to linger right up until this competition 🙁 To be able to last ten minutes to do a complete long cycle set, apparently breathing is necessary. I did try and push this theory to its limits, but my body won out. I sounded horrific in one training set 😯 which is not something I’ve heard from my coach before 😆

Despite doing all the right things, eating well, taking a full eight days off any training when I first got the virus, etc. I went through a cold, laryngitis, sinusitis, laryngitis (again), and finally bronchitis with perhaps at best a couple of good training weeks in those six weeks. And, being accurate, the bronchitis wasn’t diagnosed until Monday morning after this competition!


On the Platform

I’d felt worse again earlier in the week but was having to be in London every day Monday to Thursday. I, therefore, put this down to tiredness, long days, my general hatred of long commuting combined with having to mix with people on trains. Along with a healthy dose of denial as my nutrition coach had suggested it might be wise not to lift already. But I was (am!) stubborn, and I’d worked towards this and wanted to give it a go.

Sadly, despite trying to deny the wheezing, it returned during my warm up. And I had the most incredible coughing bout and had to take to the platform not knowing if I’d get through it. Oh, and I’d only hit an eight-minute set at the intended pace in training. I had a reliable, experienced judge so I knew my reps would be marked strictly. Maybe when I started out, I liked high numbers regardless, but now my technique is also crucial to me. And then blow me down, I go and hit my goal of ten minutes, hit the rep rate planned by Anna and end up with 71 reps (and one no-count I think – well at least one). Might have been unable to construct a coherent sentence at the end, nor breathe all that well, but hey, I did it! A PB that I’ve honestly worked hard for.

Final Seconds

Final Seconds



I entered as a veteran after my big birthday this year, so ended up without competition in my weight category with this bell. But I’m very happy with the medal. As a reminder of the struggle to get here. And from what I’ve learnt in the last few months. The journey is important. Though at times it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like it will never end. But having proved to myself I can do this when I’m not 100%, I look forward to more to come.

An even bigger shock, as I wasn’t aware of how it was calculated either, was to come away as the Absolute Champion Female Veterans Long Cycle. Not only do ladies long cycle, but they heavy long cycle, even at 40+ 😎

GSU British Championship 2016 Champions

GSU British Championship 2016 Champions – GSU / GSU

I also made a weight category record. Something to aim to beat in future too 😀



Red Lime were at the event and taking pictures and videos. And they’ve got some super amazing footage. And not only did I win at the weekend, I’m at the end of the video. Not entirely flattering (as I always see my faults and things I want to change), and with blue looking lips. But I was able, as is evident from the nod, to reassure friends and hubby I was OK.

British Kettlebell Championships 2016 from Red Lime on Vimeo.
Harrogate played Host to the British Kettlebell Championships 2016. Hosted by Big Kat and GSU. Sponsors for the Event include: North Yorkshire Sport, Pinnacle Data, Marshall Catering Equipment, Wolverson Fitness, Elite Meat, Be F*cking Relentless, Predator, Red Lime, A. P. Benson, Gambaru, FItness and Titan Builders.

I might not be the leanest (though a lot stronger and leaner than my youth/at uni), or be able to lift professional weights or heavy doubles, but I’ve come such a long way in the last three years of competing. I had an awesome weekend, spending quality time with Hubby on Friday and Sunday, hitting my goal on Saturday as well as catching up with people I can only talk to online otherwise, and then having a great evening out with friends. Despite feeling steadily worse as the weekend wore on! And it was also pretty moving to be at the Harrogate Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday (handily right outside Bettys where we’d just been!)

I have to thank my coaches Anna and Nicky for their help, advice, and support. And of course Steve (hubby) for putting up with me and this sport, and accompanying me to events around the globe. I try to be in the zone on the platform, but seeing him behind the judge/timer is a great boost when I need it.

Anna and Me

Anna and Me

Remember, you are never too old, or the wrong sex! Lifting is for everyone. And this year I’ve represented my country and become a champion. Nothing I would have expected at the start of 2016!


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