By night, Arame is a dedicated firefighter; by day, a determined triathlete going the distance. From battling fires and serving the community to training for major triathlon races, Arame's journey is one of inspiration.


As a full-time firefighter, how do you manage the mental and physical demands of your job, and how does it complement your identity as a triathlete?

Despite being a tough balance, Ironman training combined with a full time job as a firefighter has taught me how to become resilient in both fields. I can say that my tough mentality that pushed me to pursue my career as a firefighter, is what now drives me through the hard triathlon sessions, especially during the winter months.

I love the discipline it requires to handle both roles at the same time. Shift working has its pros and cons, and with that comes tough sessions after a night shift, or having to miss numerous events as they usually happen over the weekend (when I’m working).

My identity is definitely a mixture of those and a lot more, but I can confirm that I wouldn’t be who I am without them combined.

What sparked your interest in triathlon racing, and how has this pursuit influenced your overall lifestyle and well-being?

I started triathlon like everyone else, very innocently, just as one off. I chose a popular standard distance, in Bolton, and I suffered on every hill on both running and swimming.

I had only been cycling for three months prior to that event. However, I immediately fell in love with the sport; I knew I could do better if I kept training. I decided to keep turning up to the group rides, even though I kept being dropped, and I got myself an online coach who supported me during my first few months.

Triathlon has been a huge part of my life over the last couple of years, and even more so over the last few months since I entered IM Vitoria-Gasteiz.

The discipline and focus it has brought into my life is something that I admire and love about this journey.


Juggling between the intensity of firefighting at night and rigorous triathlon training during the day must be challenging. Can you share some strategies you use to find balance and maintain peak performance in both areas?

Handling both can be TOUGH! Most of the times I have to get up at 5:45 am to swim before work.

Luckily for me, due the nature of my job, we have an hour of exercise allocated, which allows me to complete some training sessions, like running (on the treadmill) or strength work. However, I can’t always count on it as we might get called out to an emergency, so I also have to keep that in mind.

Whenever people ask me, I always give a similar response: all we have is 24 hours in a day, so organisation is key. My strategy is to stay determined, consistent and the rest follows. I can’t say that I love waking up early pretty much every day, but I know my goal, so I keep working towards it.

Participating in major triathlon races involves setting and achieving personal goals. How do you set and prioritise your goals in both your firefighting and athletic endeavours?

I always try to be realistic and plan my races with enough time in advance. Myself and my coach work hand in hand on my goals for the season.

Last year was my first proper competitive season and I learnt the hard way, that I cant do everything! I love exercise, and I truly love sports, so every time that there’s an opportunity or an offer to do an outside activity, I get carried away. This proved detrimental to some of my performances, so I have adapted my personal and professional life where possible to fit around my training schedule.

I value all my personal, professional and athletic aspects equally. I have just learnt how to organise myself and communicate with my friends and loved ones, so all parties can make it work. I really have a great support network, which makes my life a lot easier.


Firefighters are often seen as heroes in the community. How do you leverage your role to inspire and motivate others, both within the firefighting realm and the triathlon community?

I definitely do not see or consider myself as one, but the truth is that a lot of people expect a lot from me just because of the nature of my job.

As the first black female firefighter in Greater Manchester Fire Service, my role in the community fills me with pride. I try to make a change, and I try to lead by example whenever I can.

In terms of triathlon, I have found a massive void between females, and especially black female triathletes on the field, so I’m also actively engaging and pushing women to go out there and push their limits, with the ultimate goal of braking barriers.

Can you share a specific instance where the skills and discipline developed as a firefighter directly translated into your approach to training or competing in a triathlon?

Especially now as I’m training for my first ever long distance triathlon, the resilience that is required from the training is beyond expectation.

Having a good mental toughness from things that I’ve had to do and see at work, is definitely making training a little easier.

I can’t really compare the two, but I know that they closely support each other, especially when it comes to fitness. I am hoping that when things get tough during the Ironman, the fire in me keeps pushing me toward the finish line. At the end of the day, I feel equal love for each other and I always try to better myself as an athlete and a firefighter.

Thanks for reading. You can follow Arame's journey here

See you out there!