Ben Whateley-Harris - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been sporty and have always loved taking on new challenges and trying new things. When I was younger I played a lot of lacrosse and even won youth international caps. Then I fell into rugby for a few years before finally ending up with running, cycling and CrossFit.
Being sporty has followed me into my adult years and it's been a great adventure.
How did you first get into running?
I used to enter local races and then suddenly in 2015 I caught the bug. Before I could say “ultra marathon” I had run several marathons and even the infamous Marathon des Sables across the Sahara desert. Since then I have always liked to push myself over different terrains and distances, just to see how I will cope and adjust. I don't have a specialist distance, I just like entering something I feel will be a challenge or will be fun.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Personally, I think you cannot beat the London marathon. The crowds, atmosphere and general carnival spirit lifts you as you run, and no one quite does it like London. Manchester marathon has given London a good run for its money with crowds and liveliness, but London just pips it with location and the incredible monuments you run past.
What is your proudest achievement?
Sporting wise it has to be completing the 2016 Marathon des Sables across the Sahara desert. My feet hated me for most of the race but the memories will last a lifetime. Outside of sport my proudest achievement has to be being a Dad. Greatest thing in the world.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
The one and only triathlon I have done I managed to have a spectacular crash on my bike through the barriers. Luckily only my pride was bruised. Having said that, I have had more disasters on the rugby pitch than I care to mention!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Set backs are a part of life, you have to accept that they will happen. Therefore you have to take a step back and then go again.
For example I felt I let myself down time wise in the 2021 London marathon. So went out and did the Manchester marathon and got a good time, therefore banishing my bad race feeling to the back of my head and replacing it with a positive race experience.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
I believe everyone has inside them a talent for one particular event or sport. I wish I had found mine. Maybe when I was younger I wish I had been pointed in the right direction and concentrated on one sport, rather than trying my hand at so many. I still keep thinking I could cut it at some sports or events I see. Even though I am getting on a bit now.
What are your goals?
Fitness and sport wise my goals are simple. To be fit enough for whatever tomorrow throws at me. No matter what that will be. Rugby, races, cycling, CrossFit competitions or anything. To be able to do it if asked last minute.
Who inspires you?
I have a few sporting heroes. I am a Leyton Orient fan so Laurie Cunningham is a legend to me. Rugby wise you cannot look past Jonny Wilkinson, but I have always had a soft spot for Jason Leonard. When athletics is on the TV I always have it on and grew up in the era of Denise Lewis dominating the heptathlon. Then in London 2012 Jess Ennis stole everyone's hearts.
But if I had to say anyone over everyone else. I would say Ranulph Fiennes for his feats of endurance, exploration and incredible stamina.
Lastly, my little boy inspires me every day. He inspires me to be the best I can be, not just for him but for everyone else.
Why work with Sundried?
Apart from the fact they make the best cycling clothing I have ever worn, I like the ethos behind the company. The fact you can get top quality sporting clothes that will last for a long time for a reasonable price. They seem to know their market and I love the eco friendly side to them.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.