athlete ambassador running triathlon

Jamie is a triathlete from New Zealand who is now living in the Lake District and is a regular at the Lakesman iron distance race. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, sport has played a major part in my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in New Zealand playing as many sports as I could, however I particularly excelled at cricket, where at the age of 15 I received a sports scholarship to one of New Zealand’s top sporting schools. I then went on to play for my county at all age levels and was selected for the New Zealand Under 19 Cricket Squad.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

I have had an interest in triathlon since the 1990s when every year my father and I would ride our bikes out to watch the start of the New Zealand Ironman.

I wanted to get into the sport of triathlon at an early age, however cricket came first. I broke my back when I was 20 years old after falling from a roof, and sadly had to retire from cricket.

It wasn’t until my mid 30s after settling into my new life in the Lake District, UK that I decided to buy a road bike and join a local cycling club. I really enjoy cycling in the Lake District, however I decided to give triathlon a go in 2016. I entered Keswick Mountain Festival Sprint Tri and placed in the top 20, since then I have definitely got the triathlon bug. I particularly enjoy the fact that you are training for three sports which makes it more enjoyable for me and what better place than the Lake District to train in for triathlon.

What's been your favourite race to date and why?

My favourite race to date without a question of a doubt is The Lakesman Iron Distance race at Keswick every June, and it’s on Father’s Day. The atmosphere is amazing and the scenery is beautiful. The Lakesman Team are so friendly and supportive, I love the fact I could run down the finish chute holding the hands of my two children. The Lakesman in 2018 was voted best event of the year at the BTF awards evening. I am also happy to say I am a race weekend Lakesman Ambassador too and admin to their Facebook journey page.

And your proudest achievement?

I have two achievements that I am proud of. Firstly in 2017 when, in the space of 5 weeks, I completed Windermere Marathon, Fred Whitton Cycle Challenge and then to cap it off finished my first Iron Distance triathlon – The Lakesman.

And secondly last year I won the Cumbria Tri Sprint Championships in my age category 35-39.

Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

I entered Manchester Marathon in 2018 and was hoping to get a PB. Everything was going well until 18 miles in I felt a sharp pain in my calf which resulted in me having to stop and then limp the last 8 miles. The diagnosis was a torn calf which had a knock on effect for The Lakesman 6 weeks later, where I was hoping to go sub 11 hour 30, however I was determined to compete and finish the Lakesman for the second time, I successfully got round in 12 hours albeit limping the marathon, which seemed to last forever!

How do you overcome setbacks?

I tell myself that there’s always someone else out there who is going through much tougher times than I am. As my wife says, this is your choice. I know I can easily choose to stop and walk off the course, but then I get visions of para athletes and war veterans competing in Ironman, I then say to myself “what’s your excuse?”

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

Consistency is key in training; you don’t need to put big miles in every time you head out. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to have rest days if you’re feeling tired.

Incorporate strength and conditioning into your training and regular stretching and foam rolling.

Don’t push too hard on the bike and practise race day nutrition in training.

What are your goals for 2019?

My major goal this year is to complete Ironman Wales and perform well in my age group at local sprint and Olympic triathlons throughout the summer. But most importantly I want to enjoy myself and stay injury free.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I take my inspiration from all the amateur athletes out there, who manage work and home life to achieve their goals.

I also take inspiration from pros such as Cam Brown from New Zealand and Craig Alexander from Australia who are both in their late 40s and still dominating races.

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

Having recently decided to adopt a whole-food plant-based diet and do my bit in reducing the impact on the planet, it seemed the most logical and sustainable idea for me to use products that are made from recyclable materials and biodegradable.

The company’s ethics are commendable and I hope other companies will follow suit.

I am happy to be on board with the Sundried team and look forward to placing my order and using their cycling and triathlon clothing. I already have a padded jacket which I love to wear and it keeps me warm.