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Jimmy Altoft Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren

athlete running triathlon competitor

Jimmy lives and trains in Newquay with a big passion for surfing. He talks to Sundried about life in the water and how it inspired him to get into triathlon.

Have you always been into sport?

I have been active from a young age; I have always loved being outdoors and used to get reprimanded at primary school for running around too much! I have always dabbled in different sports such as skateboarding, rugby, kickboxing and jiu jitsu. I found my true passion when I started surfing at the age of 21 which ignited my love for water. Now my passions are split between swimming, cycling, running and surfing which mean I am always on the go!

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

About two years ago I started open water swimming. I spend a lot of my time surfing so I decided I needed to become a better swimmer and was instantly hooked. After completing a few swimming events, I wanted another challenge and I guess the natural progression was triathlon. I only wish I had discovered it sooner!

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

My favourite race so far would be my first triathlon in and around Newquay which is where I live and train. The reason being that I didn't know how it was going to feel putting all three disciplines together, how I was going to cope or if I would make it. From the minute the race started I knew I was hooked!

And your proudest achievement?

I think my proudest achievement so far is completing a 10km lake swim event in the Cotswolds. I had started swimming in a 14m pool, getting tired after a few lengths. A year later I completed the event, swimming about 11km (I didn't swim very straight!)

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

My biggest disaster was forgetting to spray my goggles with anti-fog before a 5km swim. I struggled to see the buoys marking the course and swam into a support kayak who politely informed me I was swimming the wrong way!

The toughest race so far was the Perranporth extreme surf triathlon. The swell was in the head high range and onshores had really made it lumpy; 19 people ended up being rescued by the RNLI and it was the closest I have come to throwing in the towel. Just to finish us off at the end the 6km run was on the sand and up and over the dunes!

wetsuit open water swim triathlon

How do you overcome setbacks?

Reassess and remind yourself why you love doing this and what you do it for! During the surf triathlon, I struggled to get into my rhythm as the waves kept throwing me around; I swallowed a fair bit of water and watching people getting rescued around me really made myself doubt if I could make it. I really had to have a word with myself, find some grit and push on.

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

To plan your race season effectively, not just book every race you come across. Also the importance of stretching!

What are your goals for 2020?

  1. To complete my first 70.3 distance event. I have chosen a particularly hilly bike and run... I do not know why!?
  2. To plan and complete my own event idea to raise money for charity which will involve swim - bike - swim - bike approximately 165-170km in total.
  3. To keep pushing and progressing my skill set. I would love to start seeing my name get closer and closer to the top 20 finishers of local events.
  4. To inspire my friends and family to take up sport.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I take inspiration from hearing about what people have achieved, especially those who have faced adversity whether it be through an accident or disability but are still able to come back time and time again and push their own limits.

Watching Ross Edgley progress on the Great British Swim and also watching SAS: Who Dares Wins made me realise how much your mindset can dictate performance.

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

I love the ethos of the brand, making fashion more sustainable and ethical. I love the Eco range helping tackle the war on plastic pollution. Definitely cannot beat the funky cycle socks!

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