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Charlie Harding Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren

cycling cycle racing criterium

Charlie is a young triathlete who has big aspirations for the future. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, from the age of 7 I began swimming, cycling, running, and playing football and rugby.

How did you first get into triathlon?

I watched my mum do a local triathlon and I thought it looked really fun so I tried one for myself and haven't looked back since.

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

My favourite race has to be Leeds British Super Series. It was amazing to race on the same course as the pros and I loved the hilly, technical run and bike course which played to my strengths.

And your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is when I helped guide a visually impaired athlete to first place at the British Para Sprint championships. I also loved doing the individual relay after, and team North West came 4th which was an incredible race.

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

Yes, last season before my GCSEs, my training hadn’t been going too well. Then 10 minutes before the start of the race, my wetsuit zip broke, so I had to quickly change into my old wetsuit which was far too small. I had the worst swim of my life then got onto the bike and ended up getting cramp half way round the bike course. I still finished the race, but it was a disappointing result.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I try not to beat myself up about the things I can’t control, like injury or illness. However, I always try to learn from my mistakes and aim to constantly find ways to keep improving.

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

I think the most helpful advice I can give is to race quite aggressively. I always used to get a bit beaten up in the swim and I wouldn’t come out in a position that I was actually capable of coming out in. However, being strong and holding the line I want to take in open water helped me improve my position coming out of the water.

What are your goals for 2020?

My main goal this year is to qualify for Super League triathlon in either Jersey or Malta. This means doing well at Wales and Blenheim super series.

Who do you take inspiration from?

My biggest inspiration has to be the Brownlee brothers. I love their aggressive style of racing and how hard they can push themselves in both training and races.

What do you like about Sundried and what is your favourite bit of kit?

I love the quality kit that the company provides. I also think the free delivery and ability to try on all the clothes is really helpful to find the right bit of kit that fits you. My favourite bit of kit so far is the Sundried Zero Men's Thermal Cycling Jacket.

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