Ian is a triathlete who started his sporting career playing rugby. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I started playing rugby at the age of 9. It was tag at that age but I moved on to full contact as I got older. I also fell in love with basketball at secondary school, being 6ft 4” helped. I was lucky enough to be selected for the County team when I was 14. But after one season I decided I missed the camaraderie that rugby offered, so I returned to the sport and continued to play on and off until my late 20’s.
How did you first get into triathlon?
After I suffered a dislocated shoulder, which required surgery and several steroid injuries, I gave up playing rugby. If am honest I was a bit lost when it came to sport, lifting weights was ok, but it just wasn’t my thing. I happened to stumble across a local duathlon. I had a cheap road bike and some trainers so gave it ago. Afterwards I discovered that I worked with someone that was a very handy triathlete, who encouraged me to give swim, bike, run a go. After my first sprint race I was hooked. The sport had everything I wanted, the competitive nature of racing, lots of shiny kit to spend all my spare (most of the time not spare) cash on and a very friendly group of competitors. Well until the gun goes off anyway, then it's very man, woman, and child for themselves. Plus I liked not feeling like I had been in a car crash the next day unlike rugby.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date is the Torbay triathlon. It is a very small, locally run event, the sea swim is amazing as the water is so clear and the bay removes most of the chop. Plus unlike a lot of sprint races the run course is very technical as its on coastal trails, you even have to lug yourself up 4 or 5 sets of old school steps which is a little emotional at times. No one was breaking PB’s that day, but everyone was having fun.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement has to be qualify as a GB age grouper, to some this isn’t massive. But for someone that is relatively new to the sport it was a goal I wanted to achieve and I did it in just 1 season. Lets face it the male 30-34 age group is full of machines.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
My worst disaster was when I raced at the Cotswold water park. About 2 miles into the bike, I noticed a pot hole at the last minute and tried to miss it. But in the act of doing so I did not realise how close I was to the grass verge. 2 seconds later I hit the grass verge at around 32 kph and throw myself plus the bike into a hedge full of stinging nettles. After feeling sorry for myself for a few seconds and a little bike TLC I managed to get back on with the bike leg and make up some of the time I had lost. Safe to say, it was not my finest hour.
How do you overcome setbacks?
When setbacks happen, I try to take some time to step back and avoid making rash decisions, then work out a game plan to move forward again.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
I wish I had been told not to expect too much from myself. I am definitely my own worst enemy when it comes to pushing myself too hard and wanting to achieve more and more.
What are your goals?
My goal is to move up to the half Ironman distance and over the next couple of season secure a GB age group postion at this distance.
Who inspires you?
This isn’t something I have ever thought about. From a life perspective I would say it's all the unsung heroes such as NHS staff, police officers, fire fighters and the armed forces, they are working high stress jobs keeping the country moving forward with little or no thanks. But sporting wise I would say Jonny Wilkinson, he was the best at what he did and gave everything to keep developing his skills, he was a great role model not just for rugby but all sports.
Why work with Sundried?
I discovered Sundried around 18 months ago, thanks to one of their other ambassadors (sorry Bret I won’t be using your discount anymore). I like the work they do utilising recycled materials in their clothes, which helps to reduce the environmental impact of buying new clothes. Their customer service is also excellent and exchanging/returning clothes is childs play. I think their clothes are great quality (very durable), comfortable and great value for money. Hopefully Sundried will release a formal wear line soon, so I will have some clothes to wear when I return to the office.
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