Kelvin is an athlete who has won the World Sprint Duathlon Championships representing Great Britain. He talks to Sundried about life as an athlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes - since primary school. I can remember always enjoying sports and being part of all the teams. Once I moved to secondary school, this is when I started to take on athletics more seriously and decided to join the local club for sessions. In fact, it has shaped my life so significantly that I cannot remember not ever doing any sport!
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I have found triathlon, in particular, an exciting sport for a long time. I have always wanted to try out the sport but never dared to take the plunge after doing athletics for so many years. I was worried that all my training and hard work in athletics would go to waste but after another disappointing performance in the Gotland Island Games in 2016, I knew it was time to try something fresh.
I had lost most of the enjoyment that athletics had brought me in the past and I knew that my performance in the sport was not reflecting my training in any way. After starting triathlon training, I suddenly found that enjoyment again and this may well have been the key to my success at Duathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It definitely has to be the World Duathlon Championships in Denmark. Representing Great Britain alone was already a goal which I had wanted to achieve for a long time and going into the event, I was very pleased to just be competing in the World Championships under such a prestigious nation. Claiming the World Title was definitely a surprise and I do not think I realised what had happened until I crossed the line. A huge sense of euphoria followed and I was perhaps more relieved to realise that all the sacrifice and hard work from training had finally paid off.
And your proudest achievement?
I suppose this must also be claiming the World Sprint Duathlon title as above! I not only loved the course and atmosphere at the champs, but it also turned out to be one of my best races in my career.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Like with any sport, you always have good and bad days. I have had countless race disasters and you just learn to move on to the next one. Some have been more challenging to overcome than others and it becomes particularly difficult to accept failure when there are no underlying factors such as an illness or injury. This is exactly what happened to me last season - my training indicated otherwise but my body was just not performing on the stage. This is the part that no one tells you about, behind every success there are countless failures. You have to ride the wave and pull through the difficult times.
How do you overcome setbacks?
While some athletes may find setbacks very psychologically challenging, to me they contribute massively to my motivation. I often welcome setbacks at times, as it makes me want to work harder to achieve my goal. Success always tastes sweeter when the challenge has been greater.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Rest will make you stronger. Consistent across sports, the athlete's mindset to dig deep and bury themselves in training can often be a huge limitation. It has taken me over 12 years of competition to realise that my body actually functions at a higher level when it has more rest. You may be thinking that this is not rocket science, but it becomes very difficult to stop yourself from over-training when you always want to better yourself.
What are your goals for 2018?
To qualify for the Elite Duathlon World Championships and compete at the Island Games Triathlon for Gibraltar.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
It's hard not to be inspired by the performances of athletes like Vincent Luis, Mario Mola and the Brownlee's in the World Triathlon Series. However, I often find athletes like Yuki Kawauchi more impressive for his ability to balance a full-time job together with his professional marathon running career. To then see him succeed at the Chicago marathon was an amazing reflection of sheer determination and grit from the Japanese athlete.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
What particularity stood out from Sundried when compared to other sports brands, was its focus on ethical wear, without compromising in quality. I love that some of the newest kit is made from 100% recycled material and that it is also giving back to several charities. What a way to feel good about wearing some kit!