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Alex Harrison Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren
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triathlete cycling elite athlete

Alex is a talented athlete with goals of becoming a professional. He talks to Sundried about his journey.

Have you always been into sport?

I come from a very sporty background. My father was a regional long jumper and sprinter and competed in the English schools championships and in 1986 was ranked 7th in UK for long jump. He is a local club rider and jointly organises and runs club rides. My mother is also a keen sportsperson, actively promoting and encouraging ladies to cycle and enjoy group riding with our local cycle club organising and running summer rides. In her teenage years she swam at national level, played Hockey for the Region and competed for the County for Judo. She is currently an active member of the local running club, and has competed in off road duathlon. She serves on the committee of the local cycle club.

How did you first get into triathlon?

Having been a sprinter in the pool since I was 6, at 15 I decided to take up cycling to try to build my legs up to help complement my swimming ability. At age 16, having seen every year at my local swimming pool a triathlon, I decided it was my turn to try out this weird looking sport to see what it was like so I decided that year to give it a go and see what happened.

I didn’t know what to expect from the race and found it incredibly hard but loved how hard it was and how broken I felt and for my first ever triathlon I came second so decided this was worth training for and seeing what happened. 4 years on I have competed in the national elite super series 3 times, won 2 national medals and competed abroad for my country.

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

My favourite race has to be Eton Dorney Triathlon in 2018 where I was on the best form of my life and had the fastest swim of the day (8.50 for 750m) and fastest run time (16.17). I ended up finishing first overall and qualifying for the World Championships in Switzerland 2019.

As a race course on its own, it is one of the most beautiful and fastest around. You swim in the 2012 Olympic rowing lake in crystal clear waters before cycling around the lake on a perfectly smooth road 4 meters wide before finally running to the top of the lake and back to finish at the boat house and grandstand. It has always been the number 1 course for me and I have raced it 7 times now and cannot wait to race it again soon.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement has to be winning my first National medal (silver) while in the same race qualifying for the European Championships in Russia.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

My worst disaster in a race has to be in Leeds 2017 when I went to do a flying mount onto my bike and the seat post broke off so I had to ride the whole bike course standing because I had nothing to sit on.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I overcome setbacks by keeping a positive mindset and setting mini goals on my way back to form or after a bad race. Also by taking a step back and reviewing what went wrong to put into the following race.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

Swimming, cycling and running are great but without the extra things like nutrition, time management and strength and conditioning you can train as hard as you want and get no real change to performance. Work on the little 2% marginal gains before you work on the sports themselves.

What are your goals?

To be a full time professional athlete and compete at either the Olympic Games or World Championships.

Who inspires you?

My parents inspire me every day with how committed they are to what they do and how passionate they are about driving to the top of the sport.

Why work with Sundried?

I am working with Sundried to help supply the millions of novice and high level performing athletes with the best value kit with the added extra of high end clothing performance to help you reach your goals in sport.

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