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Peter & Emily Sands Athlete Ambassadors

by Alexandra Parren

running smiling athletes

Peter and Emily are on a journey together to complete their first Ironman. They talk to Sundried about their journey.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes! Sport has been a big part of our lives for as long as we can remember. For us, sport has acted as a wonderful release from the pressures and stresses that life can bring and as an opportunity to use the bodies that we have been given for good. We love watching sport and we are both very competitive, often with each other!

How did you first get into triathlon?

Although we know lots of people who have done triathlons of varying distances, we had never really thought about doing one ourselves. We have a background in competitive swimming, we can both run and we both enjoy cycling, so we thought why not try and put them all together? We also like the idea of an endurance challenge, so having the three separate disciplines tied together is quite exciting!

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

As we only began this journey in June 2020, we haven't had the opportunity to do a triathlon event yet. However, our favourite running race would be the 2019 Belfast Marathon. It was our first marathon, so it was always going to be special. More than that, we both cracked our 4-hour targets and raised a heap of money for charity along the way!

What is your proudest achievement?

Although it might sound a little cheesy, I think our proudest moments came in the immediate aftermath of the marathon. We were immensely proud of each other for giving the race the best effort we possibly could and pushing our bodies to their limit. That was a super special moment for us both.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Thankfully thus far, we haven't experienced any major disasters. There have been a couple of occasions that our race plans haven't gone quite right, but we've been able to adapt in the moment and persevere. I suspect that with more racing to come, we will experience some tricky days, but it's all good learning.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I think the key for us is remembering that our identities are not based on our sport or our performances. If we were totally consumed with how we were doing and our level of performance, then setbacks would be devastating. Instead, we answer to a loving and caring God, who doesn't care whether we succeed or fail. That said, setbacks are still disappointing, but this perspective allows us to bounce back quickly and remember that it's not all about us.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

I think we would have appreciated advice on just how much training is required for triathlon and Ironman. The training is really fun, but it does take up a lot of time!

What are your goals?

Well our big goal for right now is to complete a full distance Ironman in the Summer of 2022 - that's what we are working towards. However, our goal every day is just to produce the best performances we can possibly muster in each training session. That could mean swimming as fast as we can, concentrating fully on some bike skills, or getting out for a run in the rain when we really don't want to! Personal bests and placings are nice and they feel good, but you can't do any better than your best, so it's an easy goal to measure!

Who inspires you?

Although we have never tried it ourselves, we are both fans of CrossFit and we are inspired by one of the sport's greatest athletes, Rich Froning. Rich has spoken openly about how he trains and competes as a means of glorifying God and recognises that his success is not his own. To be able to see a Christian public figure speaking in that way, whilst also having been crowned the Fittest Man on Earth on a record four occasions, is very inspirational to us!

Why work with Sundried?

As a company, Sundried's environmental focus aligns with our own. As a couple, we care deeply about the world that we live in. We are people who love people and are very thankful for the opportunity to live on a planet created for us! However, we recognise that as humans, we are prone to being selfish and taking the earth for granted. We recognise that to be good stewards of the Earth, we must care for what's around us and protect the environment that we live in! Sundried's pursuit of producing sportswear that is environmentally friendly is something that we are both extremely passionate about.

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