Army physio overcomes injuries to win her first Ironman competition

Army physiotherapist Katrina Rye has overcome her own injuries to win a major international triathlon competition which has earned her a place in next year’s World Ironman 70.3 championships. She also won the English Championships in September.

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Katrina Rye after the Ironman 70.3 Calgary race

Army physiotherapist Katrina Rye has overcome her own injuries to win a major international triathlon competition which has earned her a place in next year’s World Ironman 70.3 championships. She also won the English Championships in September.

Captain Katrina Rye, 27, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, works with injured military personnel and civilians at the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Over the summer she was deployed to Canada for four months where she supported soldiers taking part in British military exercises. ‘Two of the people I was working with in Canada wanted to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Calgary, I was a bit unsure because of my injuries, but I really wanted to do my first Ironman.’

She worked hard to overcome recent acute knee and hip injuries and had eight weeks to rehabilitate herself from being unable to walk pain-free to reach her goal of competing in the 70.3 Calgary, where she finished first in a time of four hours 25 minutes.

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Katrina Rye, second from left, and Army team members winning gold at the British Triathlon Federation national club relays

‘Despite experiencing a tough few months with knee and hip injuries in Canada, I was determined to overcome them and get race-fit. I did this by tapping into the military expertise around me, as well as using my own knowledge, to rehabilitate myself back to fitness.’

On her return to the UK, Ms Rye has notched up further triathlon trophies, getting one of the fastest times this year by a British athlete, which led to her being crowned Inter-Services (Royal Navy, Army and RAF) Champion.

Having gone through the experience of triumphing over injuries, Ms Rye believes it adds to the empathy she can offer her patients. ‘It adds to my understanding of injuries and being able to provide professional reassurance of what can work. We see also see a lot of people whose mental health is affected by their injuries, and not being able to do my own training for a while was an eye-opener for me.’

She will compete in the World Ironman 70.3 Championship in September 2019 in Nice, France.    

 

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by Louise Hunt

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