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Bethan Male Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren
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Cycling triathlon triathlete

Have you always been into sport?

I have always been very active and into sport from a young age. That said, I was more interested in swimming and football than in school sports (although I still enjoyed them). I am also a keen surfer and a beach lifeguard and love spending time in the sea.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

When I was studying for my first degree I swam a lot with the university and ran a little bit and always wanted to give triathlon a go. I injured my ankle badly at the age of 21 and couldn’t run for two whole years so I started cycling a bit. When I was finally able to run again I signed up for my first triathlon.

What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

My favourite triathlon to date would probably be the AG world championship qualifier at St Neots a couple of years ago as everything just went smoothly and fell into place. I also really enjoyed the run as we went around the lake which was so pretty.   

And your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is that I can run at all... After my ankle injury an orthopaedic surgeon told me I would never run again without surgery but I have more than proven him wrong! I am also proud that I have qualified for European and World championships at age group level whilst studying for my physiotherapy degree.

running trail ultra marathon hiking trekking

Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?

My biggest racing disaster would be when I fell off my bike at Worthing Triathlon a couple of years ago. I could see the 1st female was just ahead of me at the halfway turn around, and in my efforts to try and catch her I took a roundabout too fast... I panicked and put my breaks on. With a combination of an oily patch of road and the wind gusting at the wrong time, my wheels lost grip and ended up on the ground. I somehow got back on the bike and finished the race but it was the most painful 10km I’ve ever run and I could barely walk afterwards!

How do you overcome setbacks?

I think it’s important to learn from my mistakes so I will overcome my setbacks by seeing them as a lesson for what to do differently in the future.

What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

I wish someone had told me to practice running off the bike before my first race, it makes it ten times easier if your legs know what to expect!

I also would have told myself the importance of listening to my body. After having a tibial stress fracture last year, I have learnt the hard way not to ignore “niggles” but also to build up training gradually, commit fully to strength and conditioning, and when training to run a long way, take it off-road when I can and wear cushioned trainers for the high mileage training runs.

What are your goals for 2018?

My biggest goal is to race well at the 70.3 World Championships in South Africa in September. I also want to run a sub 3-hour marathon.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I am not currently targeting the full Ironman distance but I think Lucy Gossage is a great inspiration, picking up the sport of triathlon late and managing to train and race at such a high level whilst still working part time as a doctor! Trail/ultra-marathon runner Emelie Forsberg is also a great inspiration with the attitude she has towards running and life in general.

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

It’s great to see a brand that actually cares about the environment. I really like the Breithorn Bra as well as the women’s shorts

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