An Army physiotherapist working in Birmingham has overcome her own injuries to win a major international triathlon competition which has won her a place in next year’s World Ironman 70.3 Championships. To top that she won the English Championships last month.
Captain Katrina Rye, 27, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, works alongside NHS personnel to help rehabilitate injured military personnel and civilians at the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
In the summer of this year she was deployed to Canada for four months where she supported soldiers taking part in British military exercises.
While in Canada, Katrina worked hard to overcome recent acute knee and hip injuries. She had eight weeks to rehabilitate herself from being unable to walk pain-free to reach her goal of competing in her first Ironman 70.3 Calgary where she finished first in a time of four hours 25 minutes.
On return to the UK Katrina led the Army Ladies’ team to the gold medal in the British Triathlon Relays and, a week later, added to her trophy cabinet by finishing first in the England Middle Distance Triathlon Championships in a time of four hours and 15 minutes, one of the fastest times this year by a British athlete. In doing so, she was crowned Inter-Services (Royal Navy, Army and RAF) Champion.
“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.
“Always a ‘soldier first’, my training and rehab had to be completed before and after working hours with the full support of my chain of command in Canada.
“I started the Canada triathlon not knowing if my injuries would prevent me finishing. So I was extremely proud, representing the British Army, to win the Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Winning the national relay title as part of the Army team and then the national individual title was the icing on the cake. I am very excited about racing in next year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships.”
Katrina grew up in Exmouth, Devon, attending school at The Maynard, Exeter and Colyton Grammar School before completing a physiotherapy degree at Cardiff University where she joined the Wales University Officer Training Corps.
She qualified as a physio in 2013 and commissioned into the Army the following year. Her first full time appointment was at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court near Epsom, Surrey.
Katrina added, “I owe huge thanks to the Army Sports Lottery, my parents – John and Penny in Exmouth – and my coach Damo Littlewood of Tri 1st Coaching, for all their support.”
She will compete in the World Ironman 70.3 Championship in September 2019 in Nice, France