behind the coronathon

Tiffany and Annabel, friends from school,  decided to combine their two passions - rowing and triathlon to raise money to fight the coronavirus. Annabel rowed for Oxford University and Team GB competing in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Tiffany has completed two ironman distance triathlons, 15 marathons and ultramarathons.

Both have gained so much from sport and recognise the power that sport has to unite people, create communities and change lives.  "Our hope is that everyone will be able to design a Coronathon Challenge which suits them, involving families, friends and colleagues, whilst raising money to combat Covid-19 and having some fun!".


I have been active in sports as long as I can remember, always loving being part of a team.

When I was 16 my ambition was to compete for Team GB at the Seoul Olympics as a Modern Pentathlete but an unlucky accident with a wetsuit left me with slipped discs and misaligned pelvis and I had to spend two school terms in a corset, unable to tie my own shoelaces let alone play sport. I learnt then, the resilience which has taken me through 25 years of endurance sport and given me material to write my own book: "Ironwomen," an insight into why and how women do long distance triathlons. 

I relish the physical and mental challenges of endurance sports and treasure the many friends I have made along the way. I was training for Ironman Switzerland this July when it was cancelled due to the Coronavirus, so I will be completing the distance of 42.2 Km run, 180 km cycle and 3.8 km swim, on July 25-26th as my Coronathon Challenge.  I will be supported by my family as they complete their own personal challenges too.


We lost a person whom we greatly admired to the Coronavirus so I am dedicating my Coronathon to Hans. Please join me in raising money for the Oxford Coronavirus Research because we want to get the world back to "normal" as soon as possible.




1993: Completed first Half Marathon

2009: Completed first Marathon

2011: Completed first Half Ironman, 

2013: Completed first full Ironman

2017: Completed first Mountain Marathon

2018: Completed first Ultramarathon

In total between 2009-19, Tiffany has run:


30 half marathons

15 marathons

4 half ironman

2 ironman

1 mountain marathon

1 ultra

4 open water swims



1986: Learnt to row at Pembroke College, Oxford


1987-88: Rowed for Oxford University


1987: Reserve at World Rowing Championships


1988: GB Womens Eight, not selected for Olympics


1989: World Rowing Championships, Quad scull, 6th place


1991: World Rowing Championships, Double Scull, 6th place


1992: Olympic Games, Double Scull 5th place


1996: GB Squad, Double Scull, not selected for Olympic Games


At school I was teased for being so tall and nick named 'Daddy Longlegs' but that spurred me on to run faster than all the boys at Sports Day, which set me off on my competitive journey.


My Grandfather had played Rugby for England so I had an ambition from a young age to compete for my country.  I was taken to a hockey international aged eleven and decided that's what I wanted to do but was sent to an inner city school without a playing field in sight.


Despite a lack of sport from the ages of nine to sixteen, I found my calling at the age of twenty one when I went to Oxford university to read Fine Art, and took up rowing. It took a year to make the National Team and a few more to make the Olympic Team in 1992. I regret not continuing but it was tough back then without Lottery Funding and resources for women were scarce, we were always playing second fiddle to the Mens' Team. 


The friends I have made along my sporting career, will be with me for life, they are my team and always will be. On July 25th and 26th our families will unite through sport by completing our Coronathon Challenge - it will be a non-event, in the sense that there will be no mass gathering of competitors but we hope it will become the event of the summer and raise thousands to help beat the Coronavirus.

ANNABEL'S ART IS AVAILABLE HERE: www.annabeleyres.com



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