James discovered a world of sports when he moved to Devon and hasn't looked back since. He talks to Sundried about triathlon and rowing, his two passions.
Have you always been into sport?
I was never really into sport until I moved to Devon in my 20s; I joined the local rowing club with my brothers and fell in love with the sport. This was a stepping stone and over the next few years I took up surfing, kayaking, mountain biking and hiking.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
After years for rowing I wanted a new challenge and I was inspired after watching my friends compete at my local sprint triathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was Croyde Ocean Triathlon. It is an extremely tough triathlon but at the same time it is beautiful and picturesque. When I did it, the sea was so clear I could see spider crabs on the seabed. Their tag line of ‘Stunning and Savage’ sums it up perfectly.
And your proudest achievement?
Completing my first half marathon. I have never been a good runner and as a child I hated running because everyone was so much faster than me. Through rowing training I found that I enjoyed it, so I set myself a goal of running a half marathon and managed to complete it.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The toughest race I have done is the Croyde Ocean Triathlon. It was my first Olympic distance triathlon as I had previously only done sprint triathlons. The conditions were great for the swim but once this had been completed there is a long run uphill to get to the transition area. The toughest part of this event was the 12km cross country run which included running across Croyde beach and the very hilly coast path in very hot conditions.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I take a step back and try and look at the issue/situation in an analytical way and devise a way of moving forward.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
The one piece of advice I wish I had been given is to train for the type of race you are doing. If you are doing a race that has a hilly bike section, do a lot of hill work and if it is a sea swim, do some training in the sea so you can get used to the conditions that you will be experiencing on the day.
What are your goals for 2020?
My goal for 2020 is to step up to complete a 70.3 distance triathlon and to qualify for the rowing South Coast Championship.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from friends and family that have worked hard and pushed themselves to achieve their goals.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact that Sundried uses ethically and sustainably sourced materials. My favourite bit of kit is my Century padded bib shorts; they are very comfortable and fantastic for longer rides.