AFTER falling from her bike as a child and not riding again until her early 20s, many would find it hard to believe the success of Kathy Stringer who recently won a silver medal at the World Duathlon Championships.

The 29-year-old athlete, formerly of Vale Royal Athletics Club, won silver in her age group, losing out to Dutch athlete Marieke Brouwers by just 31 seconds.

But Stringer, a film maker who now resides in Comberbach, said she always had ambitions of competing for her country, starting when her parents took her and her brothers to the track at Knights Grange, Winsford, from the age of nine.

She said: “When I was a runner the dream was always to run for England, but I never quite got there.

“I actually remember having a conversation with my friends on the school bus where I said one day I will compete for my country.

“I always had it in my head I’d find a way!”

It was during her time at university that Stringer, a former Hartford High School student, turned her attentions elsewhere, as a birthday present from her boyfriend of the time introduced her into the world of cycling.

“When he got me that bike it took me ages to even have the confidence to ride it,” she said.

“When I was a kid, I fell off my bike and had to have stitches in my chin, and I always said I’d never ride a bike with dropped handlebars, they just terrified me.”

However, it did not take long for Stringer to get to grips with the sport, as hours of cycling on her commute to work, and weekend rides into the Mendips when she was living in Bristol helped develop her skills and stamina.

“It was soon after this that somebody said why don’t you try duathlon, so I entered one at Oulton Park," she said.

“I can still remember turning up to see all the bikes there – and they looked like rocket ships to me, with disc wheels, aero bars, aero helmets.

“And I just went OMG, I don’t know what I’m doing, it was all so alien to me.

“I actually won my age group, and I thought, oh, I’m good at this, and it just went from there.”

Since then, it has been a whirlwind ride for Stringer, who added the 2021 National and British Championship titles to her bronze medal from the Worlds in 2019.

The former 800m track runner, who now trains with a coach, said: “I just carried on going, started to do more training on the bike and decided to take it seriously.

“I really have enjoyed the whole journey.”