Amelia Munsey: from record-breaking rower to triathlon enthusiast

WE TALK to Amelia Munsey about what inspired her to give up a successful rowing career and take up the sport of triathlon.


Amelia Munsey (left) pictured with a fellow triathlon competitor.

AMELIA MUNSEY graduated as a competitive rower. She had some great successes on the water including winning the Henley Women’s Regatta in 2010 where she set the course record. However, there came a point  when the sport no longer inspired her and triathlon became her new sporting obsession.

She signed up for her first Irnoman before she’d even got started or owned a bike! And the rest is history as she has thrown everything she has into the sport and made lots of headway in the short amount of time she’s been competing.


Here Amelia talks about that first Ironman, her successes and travels in triathlon and her new found love of cycling. Read on to find out about her highs and lows in competing and what she’s currently training for.


What inspired you to take up triathlon and what were some of your earliest successes in the sport?


I spent university and a few years after graduating as a competitive rower. During university I’d medalled at university championships and even won Henley Women’s Regatta and set the course record! After graduating, I was trying to achieve more and more in rowing, but finding increasingly that I wasn’t enjoying it and no longer found the training rewarding. I made the decision to try a new sport. I’d heard about ‘Ironman’ but didn’t really know what it entailed, how to train for one, I mean, I didn’t even own a bike! So the natural next step was to sign up for my first Ironman and deal with the consequences later….


In which discipline of triathlon do you excel at and at which do you have to work the hardest?


I find cycling to be my strongest discipline, my leg strength carries over well from rowing. Swimming is my weakest, and actually I find that I shy away from doing it, as I really am so weak at this compared to the other two! I work the hardest at running, as I do a lot of it and it doesn’t come naturally to me. I really enjoy the sense of achievement however when you’ve finished a long run.



Amelia didn’t own a bike when she signed up for her first Ironman.

What have been some of your highlights in the sport to date and what do you see as your biggest triathlon triumphs?


My absolute highlight was crossing the finish line for the Cotswold Classic this year. It was my first middle distance triathlon, and I really didn’t know what to expect. The distance still lends itself to a fast time, and the course was amazing. As I had no time to beat from previous events, after speaking to others about their times, I set myself a goal of ‘sub 6 hours’. When I crossed the finish line however, I had no idea what time I’d done. I was greeted by my boyfriend who’d been tracking me online, and he confirmed that I’d smashed by goal and finished in 5h 41m. It’s not a particularly fast time, but it’s way beyond what I thought my body was able to do!



Amelia pictured after competing in her first Ironman race.

Where in the country and world has the sport taken you?


I love endurance sport, and as well as triathlon I love to trail run, and cycle tour. I’ve been lucky enough to cycle across the Inner Hebrides in 2016, and the Outer Hebrides in 2017! Running is such a great way to explore places. I’ve visited cities across the world and find that running is such a great way to get a feel for a place, see amazing sights and have a great time! I’ve ran through Tokyo, Amsterdam, Berlin, Glasgow, the South Downs and many more amazing places.


Tell us about your passion for cycling?


I got my first road bike at the beginning of 2016, and fell in love instantly. I found that going straight from rowing to cycling meant that my fitness was good enough to keep up with more experienced riders quite easily and meant that I got invited on some epic rides early on! My favourite thing about cycling is how limitless it is. You can literally cycle across a whole country, or up a mountain, or even just go really really fast. I feel strong, I feel relaxed and I feel happy when I’m on a bike and that’s something that I really value.



Amelia got her first road bike at the beginning of 2016 and has been a passionate cyclist ever since.

What were some of your achievements in rowing and what caused you to move over to triathlon?


As a rower I won Henley Women’s Regatta in 2010, and in that year set the course record, however it’s since been broken (in 2016!!). I also competed at University Championships gaining one gold and two silver medals at BUCs events. I also competed at the National Championships in 2010 and placed 4th. It was quite an experience!


How hard are you currently training and do you have any races or events coming up in the months ahead?


I’m training fairly hard at the moment, but since I completed my middle distance tri at the end of August I’ve been focusing on doing training I really want to do, and taking more time for pilates, yoga and stretching. I’m training for the Ballbuster duathlon which takes place early November. Then it’ll be straight on to training for the Mallorca 312!!

Reader Comments

Share This Article