Have your say - Join our Online Community and help make a difference

Masters community mourns loss of Katie Henderson

The Masters swimming community is mourning the loss of Katie Henderson who tragically died last Friday.

Katie, 33 was travelling to meet her team for the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire when she was involved in a road accident.

As a member of Reading Swimming Club and Loughborough University, Katie was a world class Masters swimmer, setting a 25-29 Yrs world 200m Breaststroke record and a British 1500m Freestyle record as well as winning national titles in freestyle, medley and relay.

ITU World Age Group medal

She went on to become a highly successful triathlete, taking part in the elite British Triathlon Super Series, winning an ITU World Age Group medal and achieving a third place at last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

Katie was also selected as one of four guides for visually impaired triathletes training for the Paralympic Games and was part of British Triathlon’s development squad, joining the team at the winter training camp in Lanzarote in January.

Best friend, Emma Collings, said: “Katie’s 21 year-long swimming career never stopped developing. She constantly stood up and raced faster every day. As a 33 year-old she was still breaking records in the pool and in her preferred sport of triathlon.

“Katie was an inspiration to everyone she came into contact with and beyond. Her Olympic Dream was shortly to be fulfilled with the para-tri team in Rio 2016. She never gave up on that dream no matter how hard things got. She often spoke of her team who she was simply in awe of.

“Katie was the happiest, kindest most beautiful person and the swimming and triathlon community are devastated that such an incredible talent was taken from us.”

Katie always had a smile on her face

Masters swimmer Helen Gorman was also a close friend of Katie. She added: “Katie always made time for people, always had a smile on her face and adored what she did. She was an inspiration to many, and her death is a tragic loss to everyone who knew her, trained and raced with her, or just simply admired her talents.

“Katie won international masters medals for swimming and triathlon. She raced in elite televised triathlons, won practically every age group (masters) race she entered, and her first season in middle distance racing saw her finish third in her age group at the world championships in Quebec last September.

“A month later she was at the ASA Masters in Sheffield, where she won eight medals. Her perseverance, hard work and positive attitude made more success inevitable.”

Katie’s friends and family are in the process of setting up a charity to celebrate her life. More information will follow soon.

Katie’s top achievements

2009 and 2010
Reading’s Female Sports Personality of the Year

FINA World Masters 200m Breaststroke (25-29) record – 2:30.29.
British Record 100m and 200m Breaststroke 25-29

ORCA Big South Swim 3.8k – 1st in AG

British Record 200m Breaststroke Age 25-29
The Henley Challenge Swim – 1st Female
Beijing ITU Sprint Triathlon Sept 2011 – 3rd in AG
The Henley Classic Swim – 1st Female

British Aquathlon 2012 Championships – 1st Female
British Record 1500m FC and 200m breastroke Age 30-34
European Record 100 IM Age 30-34

Winslow 10k Road Race Feb 2013 – 3rd
The Henley Classic Swim Elite June 2013 – 3rd Elite Female
British Triathlon Championships July 2013 – 1st in AG
Aquathlon National Championships Aug 2013 – 1st Female
London Triathlon Elite Race Sept 2013 – 9th overall (1st in AG)
Stowe Middle Triathlon Sept 2013 – 1st in AG
Reading Olympic Triathlon Sept 2013 – 1st Female

Hart Sprint Triathlon May 2014 – 1st Female
Marlow Olympic Triathlon June 2014 – 1st Female
IM 70.3 Wimbleball June 2014 – 2nd in AG
IM 70.3 World Champs Sept 2014 – 3rd in AG & 3rd Female overall
Tadley 10k XC Dec 2014 – 3rd Female
Gutbuster 10k XC Run Dec 2014 – 2nd Female

Big Fish 3.8km Swim May 2015 – 1st Female
Hillingdon Triathletes Aquathlon June 2105 – 1st Female