Howard Crompton - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
Whilst at high school I was never the academic student, yet I thrived at PE. Being in an all boys grammar school I competed in every sport there was! I represented my school at all the sport; rugby, cricket, athletics and even represented my county in some. As I grew older I got into the outdoor pursuits. These became my career and now I take students climbing, kayaking, mountain walking etc. My main sports now are cycling and running.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I rode John o' Groats to Land's End several years ago and that led me into long distance cycling. At the same time I trained for the London Marathon. I was lucky enough to be able to swim to and from work. I loved the all 3 sports and that led me to doing my first Olympic triathlon in London. I was hooked. I've gone onto undertaking several Sprint and Olympic triathlons and that ultimately led to several 70.3s and Ironman UK.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
It's hard to say as there's been so many! But it has to be Ironman UK, 2014. The thousands of miles logged in training in all weathers led me to the start line. I was the fittest I'd ever been. The crowds, spectators were just incredible. There were several places on the bike course that there were hundreds of spectators and I felt like a pro when I rode past them. It was unbelievable. The noise was immense and deafening. The marathon laps were equally as great. My name was being called out by total strangers willing me on when they could see I was struggling. I'll never forget that.
What is your proudest achievement?
Reaching the finish line of Race to the Tower within the time I had set myself. My first ultra, 53 miles. I was absolutely spent. Yet I loved it, my longest run, the hardest run I had ever done.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I was running Brighton Marathon hoping for a sub 3:30. I was running with a couple of friends who I'd trained with. We all wanted 3:30 or less. Mile 5 with a TV camera motorbike in front of us, one of my friends saw our partners, he crossed my path, we connected feet. I hit the deck, hard! Split my knee, hands, elbow. I was bleeding! It was agony, I didn’t get the few minutes back and missed the 3:30 by 9 minutes! I've never let him forget it! We're still friends, just!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Whether it's through injury or missed training sessions I just let it go. One missed session isn't bad. I look at it and go ok how can I ensure I don't miss another one. I don't let it upset me, I use it as a learning experience.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Plan your sessions. How far, when, which discipline. That way I know where I'm going and to ensure that it's equal training across all disciplines.
What are your goals?
I'm still aiming for the sub 3:30 marathon! Life has taken over so I've not done a stand alone marathon for a while. Race to the King, 100 km this year. Be happy and injury free.
Who inspires you?
A good friend, Kev. He undertook 52 marathons in a year several years ago. He's gone onto raise so much awareness for MIND, he encourages people to get out and run. He's set up virtual running events that draw thousands of people in. Whenever he asks me if I want to do something I can't say no!
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