October 26th 2016

Registered Nurse completes Ironman Triathlon

A Registered Nurse and Army Reservist from Derby has successfully completed an Ironman Triathlon, testing both her physical and mental stamina.

Lieutenant Gill Alliston, specialises in emergency medicine and works full-time at the Royal Derby Hospital, as well as serving as a Nursing Officer with the Army Reserve’s 212 Field Hospital.

After completing her Officer Training Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst last year, she made a promise to herself that she would complete an Ironman before she reached her 50th birthday.

Gill, aged 47, who lives in Derby, travelled to Tenby in South Wales in September to take on what proved to be a tougher challenge than she thought.

Explaining what her motivation was for completing the event, Gill said:  “As an accident and emergency nurse with the Royal Army Nursing Corps who has seen patients at the limits of their physical endurance when they have been extremely ill or injured, I wondered what my personal limits were. So in my late 40s, I decided I had to take the plunge to find out before I turn 50.”

Beginning her challenge on North Beach in Tenby, Gill joined 2,500 other competitors to jump into the bracing sea to complete the two lap swimming course in Carmarthen Bay.

Gill explained: “I dragged myself out of the sea and then jogged up the beach and the ramp, before making my way through the town to the bike transition. The bike section took us along the Pembrokeshire Coast incorporating some ferocious hills, with some having an 18% gradient.

“There was a carnival atmosphere both in the rural areas and the town centre, as huge crowds lined the streets to cheer us on. Eating and drinking on the bike was a challenge, pedalling as fast as I could with one hand on the handlebars battling the wind, so I ended up with energy gel all over my tri-suit.”

The triathlon consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon. Gill completed the course in 15 hours and 50 minutes, and although she felt drained so was extremely proud of her efforts.

Gill, who has been a reservist for four years to date, continued:  “Running up the red carpet to the finish line was a huge reward for my efforts as the commentator shouted over the loud speaker ‘Gillian you are an Ironman’!

“In the future, I would like to represent my unit in Army triathlon and open water swim events, and undertake biathlon training (an event that includes cross-country skiing and rifle shooting) through the winter.”

Gill completed her triathlon in aid of the charity Scope which assists people from all walks of life with disabilities.

Add to Gill’s sponsorship  here


“There was a carnival atmosphere both in the rural areas and the town centre, as huge crowds lined the streets to cheer us on."