triathlete cycling aero bike

Chris is an Ironman triathlete who knows that hard work pays off. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

I have always been into sport and represented my school at most sports growing up. I was always fairly strong at swimming but did not enjoy the hours of training as a youngster so switched my loyalties to football, which although I had no real talent for, I enjoyed the banter and social elements!

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

Triathlon came to me in my mid to late twenties really, I was working in the local gym and a few members were doing a small sprint event at another leisure centre. It sounded fun and so after borrowing a bike and about 6 weeks of training, I gave it a go. I can always remember trying to get my t-shirt on over a wet body after the swim, it took forever and I think a trisuit was my next purchase.

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

I think my favourite race was probably Challenge Walchsee in Austria, it’s a half Ironman distance race and I raced as part of the GB Age Group team for the European Championships. It was set with the most amazing backdrop of mountains and pretty much every photo I have of the race looks like a postcard image. Competing in the GB Trisuit also made it one of my proudest moments.

And your proudest achievement?

Along with the GB race previously mentioned, I would have to say Challenge Almere 2019 ranks up there as my proudest sporting achievement as I finally broke the 11-hour barrier for an Ironman distance race. It took me 3 years and 2 failed attempts to finally hit this goal and there were plenty of times along the way I questioned my desire to keep trying. Crossing that line and knowing I had done what was 3 years in the making made it quite an emotional finish.

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

Plenty! One that springs to mind recently was during the Outlaw Half in Nottingham. I was having a pretty good race until my tri bars shook loose on the bike and I had to spend the last 15 miles holding them in place, petrified they were going to fall off completely. Lesson – check all your bolts the day before!

How do you overcome setbacks?

Analyse why things didn’t go right and look for solutions that you can implement to minimise these risks going forward. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help, sometimes it takes someone looking in from a different perspective to truly find the missing piece to the jigsaw.

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

Practice transitions!

What are your goals for 2020?

No full Ironman for me this year, as I think my body and brain need a break from it. I am hoping to be selected for the GB Aquabike Age Group team in Almere. I would like to break my PB at the Cotswold 113 event in June and do my best at the Alpe d’Huez short course triathlon in July. Most of all this year I want to just enjoy racing.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I have two amazing daughters and they really do inspire me every day with their zest for life. The oldest has started triathlons now and I coach the local junior club. Seeing the youngsters enjoying and thriving in a sport that has given me so much is just awesome.

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

Initially, I was going to say the Cadence Cycling kit, as when wearing it I feel like a total professional, but having bought the Sundried Plaret T-shirt I would have to say that. It is great quality and really multi-functional, in fact the fit is so good I end up wearing it with jeans as well as when I am training. The fact that it is made from recycled plastic bottles blows my mind!

The Sundried ethos is so on point with where companies should be heading and the fact the kit is top quality at such a competitive price point, I really wish I found Sundried sooner.