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Daniel Cross Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren
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running trail marathon

Daniel found a love for running and after adding cycling and swimming, he now loves the challenge and variety of triathlon. He talks to Sundried about the highs and lows of racing.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, sport has been in my life as long as I can remember. It all started as a game when playing with friends, be that racing our bikes or playing cops and robbers around our village. As I grew up, I found the love for football and could be found at the local park every weekend representing my local club. As I grew up, I also found that I was pretty good at cross country and that soon extended to running both the 800m and 1500m track events.

When I joined the army, I became a keen weightlifter but realised due to my body shape and size I would have to put lots of time into it without getting very many gains. I then fell in love with running and could regularly be found on the trails clocking up the miles. I then began to add some cycling and swimming in as cross training and before I knew it, I was training all three disciplines.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

I found a love for running and decided to add cycling and swimming to my routine as cross training. I then decided one day that I would sign up to a triathlon as I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and thought it is something I want to do. I also like the variety it gives; my training has completely changed to allow me to prepare myself bot physically and mentally for the event. I am also a sucker for Lycra!

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

My favourite event has to be the London Marathon. Firstly, I was lucky enough to be able to run the event with my wife and to be able to share the experience was amazing. Secondly, I was able to raise some valuable funds for the Royal British Legion which is a charity that I am deeply connected with and have seen what amazing work they do. Thirdly, it was the atmosphere; to run through the nation's capital on closed roads with thousands of people watching and cheering really was out of this world.

And your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is something that is completely off topic. I am extremely proud to have such an amazing family and support network around me. My wife and daughter mean the absolute world to me and I can't imagine life without them.

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

I entered the Serpent Trail 50k in 2019. After about 15k, I jarred my knee and aggravated an old injury which gradually got worse, I then continued to run/walk the remainder of the race and by the end I was in agony. In hindsight, I should have stopped, as it put me out of the game for a while meaning I had to withdraw from other races I was due to run.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I look at a setback as a diversion. The diversion isn't going to stop me getting where I want to be, it is just going to slow me down and make me take another approach. I look at what I can do to get myself back in the game and doing what I enjoy. I also see the opportunity for some enforced rest.

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

I wish someone had told me to go for it sooner. I sometimes look back and think if only I had started younger then who knows where I could be now.

What are your goals for 2020?

2020 is quite a big year for me. I am signed up to run my first 100k trail race around the Isle of Wight, ride my first 100 miles around the New Forest, take on my first triathlon, and swim 2 miles at Swim Serpentine.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

Everywhere. I see others doing things that look amazing, whether that's the achievement, the location or something else. I look and think, "I would love to do that!" and that usually leads to me finding an event and signing up. There is inspiration everywhere, you just need to open your eyes and believe that you can do it to. Nothing is impossible.

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

The collection made from recycled coffee grounds was the first thing that got my attention. I love the black stuff and drink a lot of it. To know that something I am wearing came from that amazes me. I also love being outdoors. We are so lucky here in the UK; the different areas I can pass through on a ride are amazing and we need to make sure we look after it so others can appreciate it in the future.

I love the Sundried cycling range. It gives that professional look which clearly makes you go faster, which is what it's all about right?

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