After watching the Ironman UK event in his hometown of Bolton, James decided that triathlon was a sport he wanted to try. He tells Sundried about his journey as a triathlete and about some of the amazing things he has accomplished.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I used to play football for quite a few years. I signed for a semi-pro team when I was 16 but I kept getting injured and never made it onto the team.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
After the season with the football team, I decided I wasn't really enjoying football and thought I'd give something else a try, so I started running quite regularly. After a few months of running, there was a little event on in my home town of Bolton called Ironman UK. At the time I had no idea what was going on but I thought to myself "yeah that looks like fun!".
What’s been your best race to date?
My best race to date would probably be between Chantilly Triathlon - part of the castle series - or Newark Half Marathon.
And your proudest achievement?
That's a tough one, but it'd probably be August 2016 when I did Chantilly and Newark. Can't wait for August again this year!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Where do I start?! Contact lenses flipping mid-swim, my bike not turning up to my first world championship race, and the countless amount of stitches I've had! The toughest race I've done so far would probably be my first triathlon at Chester, straight in at the deep end. Open water swim up the river Dee, out and back 40km bike, and a really hard run route! It took me so long my mum thought I'd got lost.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Normally I just give my parents a ring and have a chat with them. It's always nice to hear from them if I have any problems. Alternatively, I just bite my housemate's ear off until I feel better.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Start off with smaller races, so sprint distances. Get used to how triathlon works and how to tackle each stage. Don't go straight into the long stuff because they're really tiring and you'll probably get injured pretty quickly.
What are your goals for 2017?
This year I'm hoping to qualify for the age-group World Championship in both 70.3 and standard distances. I also want to try and get a few English or British age group championship titles.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
The people at the top of their game in any sport. When you're competing you know how hard they must work in the background. When they win something you can always see it in their emotions afterward, that for me is something I want to replicate.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The fact that they are trying to create quality kit whilst looking after the people who make it and looking after the planet is something I really love about sundried. My favourite bit of kit has to be the cycling kit!