Darren Last - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, as kid I loved sports. I enjoyed playing anything but football was my no.1 and would play through my teens and twenties before switching to running once I had stopped playing.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I had been running for a few years and a friend was very much in to triathlon who suggested joining him on his next triathlon. I'd swam on and off over the years and cycled, so signed up to a sprint triathlon and loved it from that moment on.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
It's a hard question, most races are special as they are rarely the same but the ITU Triathlon at Hyde Park in 2015 stands out. The race route was amazing, swimming in The Serpentine then cycling round and running through Hyde Park. It was a glorious day and also the last time it was held in London before moving to Leeds.
What is your proudest achievement?
Finishing every race is a great moment but my proudest was finishing my first marathon. It was the London Marathon back in 2014 and I'd trained hard but as ever when doing new things you never take anything for granted. The day was incredible and finishing was such an emotional and ecstatic feeling. The crowd were just completely insane. The support they give is just amazing. People always say about the crowd and you think you are ready for it it but it was completely unbelievable.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I have had a few, heavy legs at mile 8 of a marathon instead of mile 18 meant I had some serious physical and mental barriers to work through. However a triathlon a few years back on the Kent coast is probably the worst as I had to pull out of the swim. It was a sprint triathlon with a 400m sea swim. I had felt fine, trained well but as soon as started swimming I didn't feel right. Arms, legs, everything felt heavy and too much like hard work. I kept going for a few hundred metres and needed to stop and grabbed hold of one of the paddle boards to take a rest and then get going again. I started to swim again but felt even worse. That was it, I was done, it was over. I went back to the paddle board and he asked if I wanted 'out' I said 'yes' and got towed to the beach. Once on the beach I started feeling really nauseous and dizzy so it was the right thing to do. There is a line between perseverance and knowing when to pull out.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Be positive, learn and move on. There are setbacks all the time with niggles or what things that happen in races (like above). The important thing is to keep going with a positive mindset.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Just to enjoy it and not put any pressure on yourself. We do these things for enjoyment so we need to make sure we do. The other advice is to listen, everyone has different approaches, tips etc. Always listen to peoples advice and adapt as you see fit
What are your goals?
My goal is to complete full distance/Ironman. I have been desperate to do one for some time and was due to do Ironman Barcelona last year before it was cancelled due to Covid. However I am hopeful I will get to do this year. Fingers crossed.
Who inspires you?
There are many elite sportsmen and woman that inspire me, along with people that challenge themselves by putting one foot in front of the other to run, do a triathlon or any kind of exercise. But my biggest inspiration though is my family as I could not do any of what I do without them.
Why work with Sundried?
I love the brand and the ethics that the company stands for around the environment, sustainability and exploitation. The products are excellent quality and value. There is a great community building around Sundried and I am very happy that I am part of it.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.