Potter got off to a hot start in the sprint distance event in Birmingham, leading the field on the 750-meter swim. She stayed near the front on the 20km bike leg, riding her Factor OSTRO VAM bike with a CADEX 42 WheelSystem. From there, the 5km run turned into a battle for the medals.
Potter ended up finishing third, behind Flora Duffy of Bermuda (gold) and Georgia Taylor-Brown of England (silver).
Eight years ago, Potter competed at her first Commonwealth Games in her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. At that time, she was a 21-year-old on top of her game, one of the best long-distance runners in the world.
She began her transition from Olympic runner to professional triathlete five years ago. It has been a long and winding road for the Scot, who is now partnered with CADEX, to gain the experience needed to become an elite competitor in a different sport.
“Getting to know a whole new sport, and all the skills and race experience that comes with that, it’s not something you can really rush,” Potter says. “It’s taken time. It’s taken five years. It was hard, initially. And it was really quite scary. I lost a lot of sponsors. I didn’t have the help of the national federation until recently. I was told I was too old, so it’s been really challenging in that way. I spent about a year thinking I’d made the wrong decision.”
But recent results indicate that it truly was the right decision. This year Potter has been on a roll. She has been a consistent frontrunner in the World Triathlon Championship Series, finishing fifth at Leeds, where she lives and trains now, third at Montreal, and second at Hamburg. She currently sits third in the overall rankings and has a bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games to prove that all the hard work has been worth it.
“I’ve got my head down, and I’ve worked really hard at it,” Potter says. “And I feel like, especially this year, I’m in a much better place. It does help when you’ve got the best equipment to help you get there as well.”