Alistair Fletcher Athlete Ambassador
Alistair is a young triathlete who has been into the sport his whole life. He talks to Sundried about his racing hopes and dreams.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I learnt to ride a bike aged 3 and did my first triathlon aged 9. I have always enjoyed sport, but before I prioritised triathlon I was scouted and selected to play football for Cardiff City academy for a few years and have also played rugby representing the South-West region.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I have always enjoyed swimming, cycling and running and ever since I did my first triathlon, I have fallen in love with the sport. I love the slightly strange aspect of completing 3 sports straight after each other and I enjoy the transitions as well.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I have raced at Dorney Lakes a few times and that is still one of my favourite race venues as it is a fast, flat course in a lovely location. I also really enjoy racing at Bedford Autodrome where I have raced the British Duathlon Championships a few times, including racing in a torrential downpour The course is around a race track so the surface is immaculate and the course is flat and very fast.
And your proudest achievement?
One of my proudest achievements has been racing at the European Age Group Duathlon Championships in Romania and achieving 4th place. Next year, I have qualified to race at both the World and European Age Group Duathlon Champs where I aspire to podium. I am also proud because back in the summer of 2018, I raised over £700 for Gloucestershire Young Carers charity when I completed an individual 100-mile century ride.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
One of my proudest achievements came in one of my toughest races. The European Age Group Duathlon Champs were held in Romania and I did not cope with the heat at all well. I suffered from dehydration and nausea throughout pretty much the whole bike leg and then suffered stomach cramps during the final run. I have also done a few races which have been very tough due to weather, such as snow.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I have had a few setbacks in my career so far, most of them mental setbacks but also about 2 years ago, I tore a ligament which put me out of sport for about 6 weeks. With mental setbacks, usually after I’ve had a bad race, I try to reflect on the race to see why my performance was bad and then I can work on that area to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I wish I was told not to be too harsh on myself as I think I sometimes criticise myself too much. I also wish I was given the opportunity to join a triathlon club as where I live, I have only been able to join one recently. I would advise anyone starting out in triathlon to join a club.
What are your goals for 2019 and 2020?
In 2020, I am targeting the British Super-Series which is the National Junior Triathlon Series. I am working very hard at the moment to make sure my swim is good enough for next season. I am also aiming to podium at the World and European Age Group Duathlon Champs as well as achieving my GCSEs.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Alistair Brownlee, Chris Froome and Tim Don. I am also inspired by Claire Danson who is European Triathlon Champion for her age group but has recently had a truly horrific and tragic accident which has left her paralysed and with a number of other terrible injuries including two punctured lungs. Instead of giving up on her triathlon dreams, she is now aiming for the Paralympic Games and I believe she is an inspiration to everyone!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the quality of the kit and especially the silicone grips on the bib shorts. My favourite piece of kit so far has to be Sundried cycling bib shorts, they’re just so comfortable.