Darren's father was a professional triathlete in his day and Darren has certainly inherited the bug. He now wants to pass it onto his daughter. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I’ve always been into sport. I started off as a club swimmer at the age of 4 then progressed through to county and national level. I played a bit of football and rugby but I always excelled in swimming and cycling.
How did you first get into triathlon?
With my dad being an ex pro triathlete, I was always watching him race so it was a natural progression for me to get into the sport and follow in his footsteps.
What's been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date would be my first triathlon aged 9 and winning it. My dad won the men’s triathlon earlier in the day so it was a good day for us. I had a lot of attention around me due to who my dad was. It was overwhelming as a kid but I got used to it as I got older.
What's been your proudest achievement?
Swimming the English Channel solo in 2012 in a time of 12 hours 4 minutes is by far my proudest achievement. It's something I didn’t ever think I’d do. More people have climbed Everest than swam the channel so that really puts it into perspective.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I’ve had a fair few disasters, from crashing in the final lap of a crit race from 2nd, to hitting the wall in a triathlon and having to walk to a feed station.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I don’t dwell on the past or read too much into things. I learn from the setback (whether it’s injury, poor preparation, a crash etc) and put it into practice in the next training session or race. As I get older, my tactical head and race intelligence is probably as good as anyone’s on the start line, however my training and preparation has to be better than theirs for me to still be able to compete at such a high level against younger opposition.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
To race your own race. Not get caught up in fights you don’t need to and be confident in your own ability.
What are your goals?
To continue up through the levels of cycling after having a year off due to injury and be the best my ability allows. I’d also like to help my daughter in competitive swimming/cycling like my dad did for me.
Who inspires you?
My dad and my daughter. My dad due to being a pro triathlete in the 90s and representing GB. My daughter because she loves watching me race whether I win or lose and just wants to swim and cycle herself. She’s all about being outside and enjoying life and being healthy which I think kids nowadays lack.
Why work with Sundried?
I wanted to work with Sundried because I think the clothing range is second to none. It’s affordable, quality and looks amazing. I like where the brand is going and I want to be apart of it. With all the training and racing I do it’s a great way for me to help advertise Sundried along with my other sponsors. I like what Sundried stand for and what the brand has achieved already. I look forward to many years ahead with Sundried.