Harrison Smith Triathlete
Harrison is a bright, intelligent, promising young athlete who already has some impressive titles under his belt. After winning the Sundried Southend Triathlon, we had to invite him on board the team. He tells us more.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, it has been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I mainly ran and played rugby, dabbling unsuccessfully in football and golf before choosing to focus on triathlon in year 10 (age 15).
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
I went down to the local triathlon club (East Essex Tri) initially just to improve my running. However, after they encouraged me to try swimming and I’d got to the point where I could swim 400m without drowning, I borrowed my dad’s bike and entered my first triathlon.
What’s been your best race to date?
I won the World Duathlon Championships for the Under 20 age group in 2016; the race went perfectly, a rare occurrence in multisport.
And your proudest achievement?
Probably winning the recent Sundried Southend Triathlon; there’s nothing quite like winning your home race by over two minutes in front of a huge crowd.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
A couple of years ago I won the Great Notley Duathlon... at least I thought I won the Great Notley Duathlon until I crossed the line to find I’d been disqualified for improper racking.
How do you overcome setbacks?
By returning to Great Notley the next year and winning it by the biggest ever margin.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
To get my swimming stroke sorted before I started doing regular swimming sessions; it took Gill and Dawn at Tri ‘n’ Swim Well months to fix all the bad habits I had developed.
What are your goals for 2017?
2017 has, so far, had to be painstakingly quiet because I’m doing my A-level exams. That said, I have already achieved a few of my targets; I won the European Duathlon Championships and captained the Essex Cross Country team at the English Schools, both targets of mine for a couple of years now. I want to test myself over an Olympic distance triathlon at some point, break the 1-hour mark for a 25-mile time trial, run a sub-4 minute 1500m and swim a sub-4 minute 400m.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Jan Frodeno, Alistair Brownlee, and my grandfather, who, at 82, still cycles every day.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I really like the fact that a brand so local to me is so radical and progressive in its vision. My favourite bit of kit is the Olperer t-shirt; it looks great, fits perfectly, and – because it’s made from coffee it stops you from overheating on your long summer runs.