We love nothing more than seeing our Fam succeed, so we'd like to introduce you to Kelly Priddey who in just three years took herself on a journey from 100kg to YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! Please take a few minutes, settle in and enjoy Kelly's story.
x Kylie and the FOHER Team
Pic: Kelly Priddey in her final preparation for IRONMAN Cairns, which she successfully completed in June 2023 Credit: The Cairns Post
Well, what an honour it was to receive an email from the amazing Kylie from FOHER Co asking me to write a blog about my health and fitness journey. So let me take a moment to introduce myself, my name is Kelly Priddey, and I am an Ironman 😊! (Feels so surreal saying that!)
I am a Cairns born and bred local. I grew up in a family that was always very sporty and through my primary and high school years tennis was my chosen sport. We spent 99% of our weekends travelling away to different towns to compete in tennis competitions. I was very lucky having parents and grandparents who invested so much time into my tennis journey and it is one of my best memories growing up, travelling, playing my favourite sport while having my parents and grandparents always there watching and supporting. Plus, playing tennis, we got to wear lots of pretty tennis dresses. (I’m a sucker for pretty activewear!). Once I finished grade 12, I had a big decision to make, I was offered a tennis scholarship for college over in America, however what I thought I wanted as a career back then – hairdressing, was not offered at college, so I decided to pass on the opportunity in America and I stayed in Cairns and completed Cert 4 in hairdressing. Once completing my hairdressing, I realised it wasn’t my career of choice and needed to get back into the fitness/sport industry, so I completed my Certificate 3 and 4 in group fitness and personal training. In 2016 I moved to Brisbane for a couple of years but moved back to Cairns in 2018 as I missed being away from my family. In moving back to Cairns, I opened my own gym, Brave Strength and Conditioning and had that gym from 2018 – 2022.
Pic: Kelly Priddey has a strong background in CrossFit but added triathlon training to her schedule in 2022.
During that time, I really battled with my weight and body image. I had gained a lot of weight and in 2020 I was sitting close to 100kgs. Covid struck in 2020 and while it was awful for business, I used that time to change my life and habits around. My current coach Rob Downton from Raw Strength and Conditioning had been programming for my gym from 2018 and I decided to take up a more personalised CrossFit program from him. I worked my absolute butt off and in the time between 2020 to 2022 I lost close to 30kg. At the end of 2021, I qualified for the Wodapalooza Competition in USA in the intermediate division. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions I could not go. That’s when I decided I was ready, mentally at least, to step outside of my comfort zone of lifting weights in a gym and I signed up for the 2022 Cairns 70.3 Ironman. I call my coach to tell him we were changing the goal and he genuinely didn’t think I was serious at first. My friends and Mum were the first to remind me that ‘I don’t run (the most I had ever run was maybe 8km, but mostly 400m runs in a CrossFit workout) and I don’t even own a bike’, I was hit with a lot of doubt of others – my response was – Ill prove to you that I can do this. And I did – I completed the 70.3 in Cairns and it was amazing, however I remember thinking after – the job is only ‘half done’. So, I went on from that race to complete 2 Full Distance Marathons – Cairns – 4 weeks after running my first ever half marathon in the 70.3, and then Sydney in September.
In January 2023, I started training for the Cairns IM – and man, what an experience that was. People told me that training for a full would be so different to the 70.3 – that it would be like having a second full time job and boy they were not wrong. I did not miss one single training session in the 6 months of training. The 3:30am wake ups every morning, the 7:00pm bedtimes, the long rides (my poor va-jay-jay really copped it!), 7-hour Sunday training sessions, the copious amounts of food (that part was amazing haha!) – anyone who has done an Ironman before would know all this, but this volume of commitment was a next step up for me and none of it would have been possible without my crew supporting me, my Mum and Dad, my partner Troy, my best friends Richelle, Mark, Lisa, Leigh, Peta, Leanne and everyone else.
I knew how big of an achievement completing any full distance Ironman would be, so it only made sense that for my first IM I had a custom tri suit and it only made even more sense that it was a FOHER custom suit. I was lucky to have my custom suit gifted to me by Chapman Plumbing. Now, I very much like soft, pastel colours, which is a little different from the bright, bold and stunningly out there colour pallet that FOHER is known for, however I contacted Kylie and after a few back and forth conversations talking colours and patterns, likes and dislikes, she produced the most absolutely, stunningly perfect tri suit.
Pic: FOHER Co worked closely with Kelly to design and create a full custom triathlon suit for her to wear during her first IRONMAN race in Cairns, Australia.
I was blown away and I was so happy with the finished result. It was so me!! Also, not to mention how comfortable the suit was to wear! Comfort was not something that I felt on the day of IM, as you will soon read, however my tri suit was the one of the most comfortable and beautiful parts of the day! I had soooo many compliments on the suit during the run which made me feel a little warm and fuzzy as I see that tri suit as an extremely special memento of that day. I used the excuse of it being my first full IM as a reason to invest in a custom suit but honestly every Ironman from here on it, I will be.
Pic: Kelly Priddey and her dream full custom triathlon suit for her first IRONMAN in Cairns, Australia.
The week of Ironman rolled around and I had had a solid 6 months of training, everything was feeling so damn good – until 3 days before the event where I woke up as sick as a dog, and progressively over the 3 days leading up it got worse and worse – Influenza A ☹. But I can tell you – there was no way in the world that was going to stop me from completing my goal that had consumed my life for the past 6 months.
Pic: The Cairns Post newspaper wrote an article about Kelly and her journey to IRONMAN Cairns Credit: The Cairns Post
The race was awful! I had a fantastic swim, could not fault my performance at all, everything went to plan until I got on the bike, and everything fell apart. By 20km in I was ready to pull out, my legs were like bricks, I couldn’t breathe through my nose so whenever I tried to consume any nutrition I would end up in coughing fits. I had 2 vomits on the side of the road. I remember getting to the first personal needs station – 75km in, getting off my bike, crying, saying ‘I just wanted my Mum’.
Pic: Kelly tackling the IRONMAN Cairns bike leg which was voted the best in the world in 2022. Credit: Sportograf
I had no idea how in the world I was going to get through another lap of that range. But I did. I had to stop at every aid station, get off my bike, get my helmet off my head and just breathe. Finally, after close to 9 hrs on the bike (which was almost 2 hours longer than my planned time) I started the run.
Pic: Kelly had a super tough 180km IRONMAN bike leg, and her face says it all. I DID it! But thank gawd that's over!
I was back in town with my people, everywhere on the course I had someone cheering me on, getting me through it. My run leg did not go how I had planned. I think I said multiple times ‘I am never doing this again’, but nevertheless, I got it done. Ran when I could, walked when I had to, to ticked over the KM’s.
Pic: There is nothing like the support of friends and family on the IRONMAN marathon after a killer 180km bike. We always say that cheering is the fourth leg of triathlon...and it's the absolute best. Way to get it done Kelly!
After 14 hours and 51 minutes, I became an Ironman. My hard work paid off, that was the proudest moment I had ever experienced for myself and that is something that can never be taken away.
Pic: Congratulations on battling through and achieving your wildest dreams Kelly! It's a tough race, you are an IRONMAN, and have joined the wild guestimate 0.002% of women globally who have completed an IRONMAN event.
Needless to say, I was so sick from Influenza A the week after the race that I didn’t even realise how sore and tired I was haha! But we recovered and got back into training after a few weeks. Since completing the Ironman, I also competed in the Cairns Marathon event where I PB’d my half mara time by close to 18 Minutes. Hitting the Pyramid Race in August before heading off on my annual Mother-daughter holiday to Disneyland (my favourite place in the entire world). Hitting Sydney Marathon in September and still trying to decide if I want to hit a 70.3 before the end of the year or maybe an Ultra. While I’m mentally and physically capable and fit, I want to tick as much off the bucket list as possible so we shall see how things go!
And finally, we have made it to the end of the blog, which I hope has been an enjoyable read! 😊
If there is anything to take out of this story, it’s that anything is possible - It does not matter what your background is, what you think you can’t do or anything. Anyone can say that they ‘want to do something’, but words are words, if you have enough dedication, there is nothing that you can’t achieve, you just have to want it bad enough.
Ironman 2024 – I will be back!! 😊
Pic: Cool, calm, comfy and collected. Kelly looking the goods in her custom FOHER Co triathlon suit during her IRONMAN Cairns marathon. Credit: Sportograf
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Grab your tape measure, make sure it is held flat, not twisted and always make sure that it is held firmly, not cutting in or squashing the area you are measuring. Please take the measurements below and compare them to the size chart to find the size that is right for you.
Taking your measurements whilst naked will give you your exact measurements, but if you intend wearing a garment (like a sports bra under your trikit), then take your measurements with those garments on.
CHEST/BUST – Place tape measure around the fullest and widest part of your bust (usually the part with the nipples!) Be careful not to let the tape measure slip down at the back, or squash you.
WAIST – Place tape measure between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bones (the easiest way to find your waist is to stand in front of front of a mirror and suck your tummy in hard - you should see it!). It's also usually the narrowest part of your natural waistline.
HIP – Place the measuring tape around the fullest, widest part, usually over your bottom or at the top of your thighs between your hips and thighs.
HEIGHT – In bare feet, stand against a wall and mark the point perpendicular to the top of your head. Measure up to this point from the floor.
These measurements do not include ease, which is the amount of extra space allowed in a garment for comfort and movement. The amount of ease added can greatly differ depending on the fit of the garment.
Still not sure about what size you could be? Our two product models are good examples.
Amanda is wearing the 2P trisuits and is a Small. Amanda is 177cm tall, Bust 85cm, Waist 70cm, Hips 89cm
Katie is wearing all of our other products in an XS. Katie is 156cm tall, Bust 80cm, Waist 68cm, Hips 91cm.