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Building your endurance performance around your lifestyle
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Smiling Tri Coach is owned by Mel Hayes and has been going since 2015. Since then we have been helping athletes of all abilities to maintain a healthy balance between their training and performance goals and the challenges of everyday life. 

We have coached hundreds of people like you through full and half distance races, standard and sprint distance races, aquathlons, duathlons, swimrun, marathons, half marathons and ultra marathons. We can coach you for a marathon swim or a Lands End to John O'Groats bike challenge. No goal is too big or too small! 

As coaches, we are there to support you to reach your goals and smash your performance targets, but also to help you stay healthy and happy. 

Whether you own your own business, work full time or are a busy parent or carer, we tune into your individual challenges and understand how difficult these challenges might be when you are trying to perform to your best. We have been there, done it, and Mel has got the T-shirt!

We have recently recruited a new Smiling Tri Coach in Tom Elphick who embodies our values and is a wonderful addition to the team.

We are delighted to  be the Approved Coaching Supplier of  OP Events who organise the Wilmslow Triathlon, South Manchester Triathlon and the Oulton Park Duathlons, and McA Fitness & Events who are a leading Go Tri Race Organiser. 


I have been involved in sport all my life. As a child I was a keen runner regularly competing for Newark Athletics club as a sprinter and in cross country.

My passion for endurance sport was probably instigated by my parents who at the age of 40 and 55 decided to give marathon running a go having watched the 2nd London marathon on the television. They both fell in love with long distance running and went on to set up Southwell running club, which 30 years later is still going strong. 

I ran my first half marathon at the age of 13, which of course now you wouldn’t be allowed to as you have to be 17 to run that distance. I remember clearly that instead of a medal you got given an ash tray for completing the run which now would seem ludicrous.

I had a break from running when I went to University  and really didn’t get back into running seriously until after my first child was born, although I did keep fit throughout both my pregnancies. I then went on to run numerous half marathons, marathons and did my first Ultra in 2017. My friends nicknamed me ‘marathon Mel’ and if anyone ever wanted to know anything about running it was always ask Mel.

I was introduced to triathlon by a friend who suggested I give it a go. However, I wasn’t a great swimmer and hadn’t been on a bike since I was teenager, so I had a lot to learn but I have always loved a challenge so thought why not.

A lot of swimming lessons later and the purchase of a second-hand bike, I entered the ladies only Deva Divas Sprint Triathlon. Much to my surprise I won my age group and so began my triathlon and duathlon journey.

I have raced all distances from Sprint to Ironman but would say that I am better at the long course events.

I first qualified to represent Great Britain as an age group athlete in 2015, for the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships in Majorca where I came 4th on a day where it was 38 degrees in the shade. I have since qualified and raced for Great Britain 10 more times.

Some of my sporting achievements include:

2015 Outlaw Full 3rd

2015 1st in AG Midland Sprint Series

2015 World Long Course Duathlon Championships 3rd in AG

2016 Monster Middle 1st in AG

2017 Outlaw 70.3 1st in AG

2017 IM UK 3rd in AG

2017 World Long Course Duathlon Champioships 1st in AG

2018 Outlaw 70.3 1st in AG

2018 IM Wales 1st in AG

2019 Sundowner 70.3 1st in AG

2019 Challenge Roth 2nd in AG

2019 World IM Championships Kona Hawaii

2022 Lakesman 70.3 1st in AG

2022 World Long Course Duathlon Championships 1st in AG

2022 Norseman Xtreme triathlon 

2022 European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships 3rd in AG

My coaching career began as a desire to give something back to the sport I love and help other athletes achieve their dreams, whether that be to complete a triathlon or qualify to represent their country. My own journey as an athlete I believe will be invaluable in helping the athletes I coach achieve their goals.


I wanted to introduce myself as I have joined the coaching team at Smiling Tri my name is Tom and this year I have been doing a lot of long distance swimming events, so a lot of swimming related pictures above! I have done the Chillswim swims of Coniston, Ullswater and Windermere and won the triple crown. I also did my first aquathon on Sunday and came third!

I look forward to meeting you and if you want to know more about how I or the smiling Tri team can help you with your next adventure, whether it is a triathlon, swim or run then drop me a dm or email







Spirit of Sport


Spirit of Sport was set up to deliver Events, Workshops and Children’s Coaching designed to encourage participation in sports in general and to inspire both young and old to take up triathlon.


Spirit of Sport delivers Introduction to Triathlon Days for schools, community groups and clubs. You don’t need a swimming pool, we can run the day using a community room and some outdoor space.  The sessions cover some introductory information about the sport, using quizzes, games, team work and videos. There are a number of practical sessions to give the children a flavour of the skills involved and we finish the day with a mini triathlon or duathlon, dependent upon facilities.


For Spirit of Sport pricing please enquire via the COACH ME on the website home page.

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