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How this north-east dad went from a couch potato to GB triathlete

Ben Rushton went from takeaways and microwaved meals, to landing a spot on the Great Britain triathlon team. Picture on left taken by Kenny Girvan.
Ben Rushton went from takeaways and microwaved meals, to landing a spot on the Great Britain triathlon team. Picture on left taken by Kenny Girvan.

A north-east dad decided “enough was enough” and said goodbye to constant takeaways, ushering in a healthier lifestyle that earned him a spot on Great Britain’s triathlon team.

Ben Rushton, 28, from Aberchirder, was 12st 9lbs (82kg) when he made a New Year’s resolution in 2020 to get fit and eat better.

After securing the help of a personal trainer, in 11 months he dropped down to 9st 4lbs (60kg).

And this change in lifestyle also opened the door for new passions he’d never even considered before – like pursuing a triathlon.

‘It was all takeaway and visits to the pub’

In just two years after making the decision to kick his unhealthy lifestyle to the kerb, Ben has qualified for the Great Britain triathlon team.

It started when Ben, a completions engineer with Magma Products, a Global Energy Group company, woke up one morning and “decided enough was enough”.

“I needed a healthier lifestyle,” he said.

“It was all takeaways and visits to the pub. While that was fun, I wanted to do something different.

“I had tried various fad diets and the odd run in the past, but nothing worked, or I couldn’t stick to it.”

Ben's diet. Background picture provided by Kenny Girvan.
Ben, who is 5’6”, lost weight with exercise and a new diet. Background picture provided by Kenny Girvan.

He bought his first road bike in February 2020 and remembered how his first five mile (8km) ride left him so exhausted, he slept for three hours after it.

“I kept going, then the Covid lockdown happened,” he said.

“There wasn’t much else to do – so I kept increasing the levels of training and I’ve not looked back.”

‘Losing 22kg has been a crazy transformation’

Through social media, Ben spotted that Portsoy-based Aurora was holding a “try a triathlon” event and decided to give it a go.

And now Ben will represent Great Britain in the 25-29 age category at European Sprint Distance Championships in Munich in August.

A month later, he’ll also compete at the European Cross Triathlon Championships in Bilbao, where a mountain bike is used instead of a road bike.

He said a huge amount of credit goes to his teammates and his personal trainer Stephen Gauld, of Core Nutrition and Fitness.

Stephen developed a plan for Ben for his initial goals and tailored it when things began to take off.

A look at Ben's daily fitness regime.
A look at Ben’s daily fitness regime.

Stephen Gauld, who helps people at all levels, said: “Losing 22kg has been a crazy transformation for Ben.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a few months, and underestimate what they can do in a few years.

“Sometimes you need to go all in and just trust the process. Ben’s journey from essentially a standing start to qualifying for European events is an amazing story.”

‘I’ve enjoyed it so far – let’s see how far I can go’

In January, Ben became a dad when his fiancee, 29-year-old Adele Henderson, gave birth to Aria.

In September 2021, he used his newfound fitness level to raise £5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his grandad John.

He did so by taking part in the Ride Across Britain event, a 970-mile (1,561km) cycle over nine days from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Ben said: “It’s fair to say I’ve really got into it.

Ben Rushton lost three stone and developed a love of triathlons during lockdown.
Ben Rushton lost three stone and developed a love of triathlons during lockdown.

“Adele, my family – in particular, my mum and dad Helen and Paul, and Adele’s mum and dad Elaine and Duncan – and friends have all been very supportive.

“It takes effort and consistency but I’m sure if I can do it then so can others.

“Triathletes seem to get better as they get older. I’ve enjoyed it over these past 18 months and I’m just going to see how far I can go.”

But the athletic success has led to a significant increase in costs for Ben to follow his dreams.

Ben with fiancee Adele and daughter Aria.
Ben with fiancee Adele and daughter Aria.

He has sold his car to help fund international trips and other costs.

Ben is seeking sponsorship for food and travel costs through firms looking to raise their profile through branding.

He’s already become an ambassador for Italian firm Limar, which has agreed to supply him helmets and glasses.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Ben, get in touch through his email: benrushton1@aol.com

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