I compete as a Masters athlete in National and International competitions in Modern Pentathlon.
The modern pentathlon is an Olympic sport that comprises five different disciplines; fencing (one-touch épée), freestyle swimming (100/200 m), equestrian show jumping, and a final combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running(5x600m). This last event is now referred to as the laser-run, since it alternates four legs of laser pistol shooting followed by an 500 m run (for 3,000m in total). The event is inspired by the traditional pentathlon held during the ancient Olympics.
The sport has been a core sport of the Olympic Games since the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. A world championships for modern pentathlon has been held annually since 1949.
The sport provides the opportunity to cross train across multiple disciplines. Most importantly it has taken me to some amazing places and created many lasting friendships.
National Tetrathlon Championships, Bath, 1 April 2023 Result: Silver medal, Masters & team gold
Oxford, Cambridge & Army Pentathlon, Oxford 18 February 2023
Swiss Open Championships, 3 July 2022 Result: Silver medal, Masters
National Pentathlon Championships and National Rankings, 12-13 February 2022 Result: 24th, Seniors
National Tetrathlon Championships, 3 April 2022 Result: Silver medal, Masters & team gold
Oxford MP vs Old Blues Pentathlon 29 January 2022
British Tetrathlon Championships, Bath, 6 November 2021 Result: Individual silver medal, Team gold medal
I’m back! With much excitement, I have come back into Modern Pentathlon after a break of a few years as I pursued other adventures and activities. It has been great to rekindle friendships with fellow competitors, coaches and club members. I have missed the variety of disciplines that modern pentathlon training requires and also the more explosive power, speed and shorter distances that come with it. This made a change from the endurance challenges that have dominated my training in recent years.
Roll on more competitions in 2022!
Modern Pentathlon Masters World Championships 2014
Berlin, September 2014 Result: 16th
The XIII Masters World Championships took place in the Olympic Park in Berlin on 18-20 September 2014. The location is iconic, most famous for being the track on which the African-American athlete Jesse Owens set a new 200m record in front of a Nazi crowd. "We all have dreams, but in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self=discipline and effort." Jesse Owens.
Over 120 masters athletes from 22 Nations are taking part in the competition. Many have represented their countries at previous Olympics or World Championships and they range in age from 30 to 76. I competed in the 40-49 age group.
British Modern Tetrathlon Championships 2014
27 September 2014, Solihull, UK Result: 1st place, Masters
Coubertin Cup 2014
Dutch Open Coubertin Cup - Arnhem, Netherlands, 28 June 2014 Result: Silver, Individual
The international Coubertin Cup (named after the founder of the modern Olympic games and created of Modern Pentathlon) is combined with the Dutch open championship. The competition took place in the fantastic setting of the Pappendal National Sports Centre which is home to many of Hollands elite athletes and boasts fantastic facilities. Many countries were represented including Holland, Germany, Ukraine, Great Britain, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and others. Despite a poor result in the fencing, I came into the final event (combined run-shoot) and climbed two places to take a silver medal position. There was a great atmosphere and the GBR competitors came home with a total of three medals. Great result!
Modern Pentathlon Irish National Championships 2013
Dublin, October 2013 Result: 1st place, Masters men.
Results: 11th in my age group (40-49) in the individuals competition Bronze medal - 3rd in Mixed Team Relay with Caroline Nickerson (thanks) - my first podium!
How did this come about?
In July 2013, while on holiday, i decided to take up Modern Pentathlon, a unique combination of sports - riding, fencing, swimming, shooting and running.
With just six weeks of intense training, I represented GBR at Masters level at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary on 13-15 September.
In this short time, I trained across the 5 disciplines and completed 14 training sessions each week. Until early August 2013, I had never shot a pistol, held an epee or completed a show jumping course. After many years of triathlons, I can run and swim, but Modern Pentathlon is a middle distance event, much faster than I have been used to.
Why? The sport has always intrigued me. Dad competed at Modern Pentathlon in his 20s and seeing it at the London 2012 Olympics was deeply inspiring (although I am not of the generation that Lord Coe was aiming to inspire!) and planted a seed in my mind. A few days of holiday and a rest for the mind and body created the opportunity to take up a new challenge.
My first couple of weeks of training consisted mainly of watching YouTube clips, reading up on the rules and following other athletes on social media. I then set about joining sports clubs for fencing, shooting and swimming. I found a local riding school near us and took up riding after a 20 year break. Importantly, I had to reach the standards set by Pentathlon GB to get three critical certificates signed off so that I could enter a competition. With lots of help from expert coaches, the certificates were signed and this paved the way to enter my first competition.
Suddenly I found myself heading off to the European Championships for the Modern Pentathlon Masters in Budapest. Why not!
Thank you to all those who have helped me get up to speed in such a short time - Julie, Ted, Catherine, Alistair, Sarah, Metta, Zed, Shirley, Alan, James, Clive, Rob, Dave to name a few. I definitely could not have done it without you! Thanks also to the team at PentathlonGB for their support and kit, which I wore with enormous pride.