After a lifetime playing rugby, Neil switched to triathlon and works hard to achieve his goals. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, from an early age. I played rugby, skied, canoed and ran as a kid and represented Howe of Fife and Midlands District at rugby. When I joined the RAF, I played rugby and skied for the teams. I continued to play rugby until I was 39 and retired, taking up triathlon.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
After 30 years of rugby, I bought a bike and a friend convinced me to try triathlon. Within 4 months, I had completed an open water sprint triathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Ironman 70.3 France was a great race. I went out early and took my wife with me and everything was perfect from the weather to the swim to the scenic bike course and amazing support.
And your proudest achievement?
Completing Ironman UK last year was a great achievement. I trained hard for a year and on the day I got everything right, from nutrition to physical readiness.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The Scottish Off-Road Triathlon Championships 2017. The wind was blowing a gale and the water was only 10 degrees Celsius. It felt like being water-boarded as the waves were huge, but I came out of the water in the top 20 and ran myself to a top 10 finish.
How do you overcome setbacks?
When I train in winter and bad weather, I remember those hard miles and use that feeling when things are tough to get me through.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I wish I had started my triathlon career earlier as the fun and enjoyment I have had has been immense.
What are your goals for 2020?
I am mixing things up this year. I am doing Red Bull Neptune Steps, Porto Colom International Triathlon Mallorca, Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, Scottish Off Road Championships and Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I love to follow great athletes and learn from them but watching age groupers achieve great things spurs me on the most.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the ethos behind the brand and that it stands out in a crowded market place. I love the Cadence Cycle Jersey for the fit and feel and the Cadence bib shorts are beautifully made.