Jonathan Acott Athlete Ambassador
Jonathan is a 6-time cancer survivor who has completed an Ironman and is looking to run a marathon on every continent. He talks to Sundried about his incredible journey.
Have you always been into sport?
Sport and exercise were always a part of my life, but as I had more and more cancer diagnoses, the role of exercise became increasingly important as a way to not only challenge myself but to maintain my health both mental and physical.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
Charity and Lance Armstong. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I found a lot of comfort in Lance's story and his foundation Livestrong. I had the opportunity to race with him so I signed up for Ironman Nice which was my first ever triathlon, when I got there his 'difficulties' with the French authorities meant he couldn't be there but that race will always be one I remember.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Ironman Nice, which was my first ever triathlon and still my favourite. It's my favourite simply because it was all new, every phase was a new experience and I'll never get that back.
And your proudest achievement?
I've had a lot of cancers, I'm missing organs and my body has been through a lot but I've raced all over the world, I've climbed mountains and swum lakes, walked on fire and achieved more than I thought I ever would and that's what I'm most proud of.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
No racing disasters per se but my hardest and least enjoyable race was the Dragon Ride Gran Fondo a few years ago. I was underprepared for the ride, the wind was unbearable and some of my fellow riders were dangerous. It was at this race that I realised sportives are not for me.
How do you overcome setbacks?
After relapsing with cancer 5 times, I recognise I've had a lot of setbacks in my life. What I've realised is they are inevitable, however I manage them by not focusing on the goal but on the process. In that way, if something goes wrong on race day or in the run up to it then I've lost nothing. When every training session is a blessing and a victory in itself, the final race day is just another day. It's all about perspective and really focusing on what's important to you and why you are doing what you're doing.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Train your weaknesses harder than you train your strengths.
What are your goals?
My race focus has moved to 2021 where I will continue my goal to be the first 6-time cancer survivor to run a marathon on every continent. I've got the Austin marathon in February and I hope to tick off the Asia leg of the challenge next year as well.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I find everyday people inspiring; the normal women and men who have their own challenges but continue to be the best version of themselves. I find inspiration in people going beyond themselves whilst continuing to lead 'normal lives'.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
What drew me to Sundried are the two sustainable ranges. Over the last few years I've become increasingly concerned about the impact we are doing to the planet with our consumer habits so I wanted to align with a brand that is making the world a better place.