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Claire Biercamp: Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist, European Triathlon Bronze Medallist and Fitness Instructor!

Claire holds up a bronze medal in front of a rainbow NHS sign.
17 July 2023

At first glance, Claire Biercamp might seem like any of our fabulous Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetists here at Sheffield Children’s. She arrives each morning at 7.30 to inspect her list of patients, attends a daily briefing at 8.30 and spends her day in Theatres caring for our children and young people. However, what you might not know about Claire, is that she is also an incredible Triathlete!

On Saturday 3 June 2023, Claire competed in this year’s European Triathlon Championships held in Madrid. Claire had been training for the event since qualifying in 2022 and earned a stunning bronze medal in her age category in the splendid Spanish sunshine. She said: “It was fab! I flew off from Edinburgh, straight from my family holiday. The race was on the Saturday, and it was really fun- there were lots of athletes from all over Europe and I managed to come away with a bronze medal!”

Incredibly, after her awe-inspiring weekend, Claire was back at work caring for our children and young people just two days after her event, demonstrating an incredible commitment providing outstanding patient care for our patients and families, and even finds time to run her wonderful fitness bootcamp for her colleagues every Tuesday morning. In fact, as a result of her whirlwind weekend, Claire was unable to attend the medal ceremony for her race and received her medal afterwards in the post.

Claire set off on her triathlon journey just under three years ago, and in that time has made exceptional progress. She said: “I only really started competing in triathlons three years ago. It’s my second real summer of racing, it has become an obsession quite quickly!”

Attributing her recent success to a love of sport that she has held for her whole life, Claire believes that her route into the world of triathlons was almost inevitable. She said: “I’ve always been a bit of a runner, I guess, and I swam a bit at school and university. Then at some point, I got a bike! Put those three together and I thought ‘I might be reasonable at triathlon!’ Then I injured my knee and had three children, so I came back to it a bit later.”

With Claire’s partner, Nick Green, also being an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Sheffield Children’s, Claire was quick to point out the importance of balancing their careers alongside other passions, and often finds herself training for events during her commute to work: “As we both work at Sheffield Children’s, we both do a lot of juggling. I do a lot of my training around my commute to work.  I can run in and extend the run on the way back. The same with biking. The one I struggle with is swimming!”

Claire also discussed the mental health benefits that she feels from competing in triathlons. She said: “Taking part in triathlons is actually really good for work as you feel more relaxed. It’s really important to look after your mental wellbeing.”

These benefits have driven her to set up her own early-morning fitness sessions, taking place each Tuesday morning, 7am-7.30am in Weston Park, so that others could feel these benefits too:

“I’d been talking about it in jest for quite some time- I called it ‘Biercamp Bootcamp’ and some of my colleagues raised eyebrows at that! Then recently, I stumbled into a room where my colleagues were discussing wellbeing in theatres over breakfast. Whilst I was there, they asked me how I could contribute, and I mentioned my bootcamp idea and a few people were really enthusiastic about it!”

Claire loves the idea of sharing her love for sport with others and would love to see her classes grow. She said: “I really enjoy doing it and I’d love to get a few more coming along. It’s accessible for all and there isn’t much running involved- promise! It’s just a really good start to the day. Everybody is welcome, not just my theatre colleagues! I’m hoping it’s going to continue through the summer, not sure about the autumn. In the future, I’d love to build a little studio somewhere, so we can do the classes there, so who knows?”

We’d like to thank Claire for sharing her story with us and give her a massive Sheffield Children’s congratulations on her wonderful achievements.

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