Gillian Forsyth, Running/Triathlon Coach

Gillian Forsyth
Coach – Running, Triathlon

Gillian was born in Scotland then moved to Canada at the age of 7.  In 1998 at the age of 30 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a shock to both her and her family.  Within one year of diagnosis she ran her first marathon in Bordeaux, France and was hooked on running.  Since then Gillian has completed 19 other marathons including 4 Boston Qualifiers and has run Boston 3 times.  In addition to running she also enjoyed mountain biking and participated in several 24 hour races, adventure races and solo long distance mountain bike races.  In 2001 her work took her to Chicago where she currently lives with her partner Tom and cat Ruby.  Gillian is also an avid bike commuter and rides 12 miles round trip all year round, even in the winter!

In 2006, Gillian started to take an interest in triathlons, moving to the mid-west meant less mountain biking so she needed to fill that void.  She signed up for swimming lessons at the local YMCA and learned how to freestyle swim.  She entered and finished an all-woman sprint distance triathlon. Shortly after that she completed her first Olympic distance tri. Always a fan of longer distance events she signed up for her first half Ironman in 2007 and trained for it completely on her own without a coach or team for guidance.  (silly girl! She’s since learned about the value of a team and a coach!) Since then she has completed over half a dozen half Iron distance, two full Iron distance and a Leadman triathlon.  Her first Ironman was in 2011 in Wisconsin, where she trained with 9 other type 1 diabetics as part of TeamWILD!

For her day job, Gillian is a director of accounting at a large public company. However, her true passion is developing her own skills in running, biking and swimming as well as coaching others. In addition to being a TeamWILD coach, Gillian coaches both marathon and triathlon training programs in Chicago.  Gillian’s gift is to bring a real-life perspective to training and she teaches how you can train smartly and efficiently, while holding down a full time job. As a Newton Natural Running Coach she feels running form is so important when starting to “pound the pavement”.  After spending a lot of time with TeamWILD in 2011 Gillian knew that getting involved as a coach would be a great place to share her skills as a coach, diabetic and an athlete!

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