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Sam Gibbs Ironman Triathlete

by Alexandra Parren
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Sam has had his share of setbacks but trains hard to get results. He talks to Sundried about racing as an Ironman triathlete. 

Have you always been into sport?

I’ve always been active and tried my hand at many sports, including rock-climbing at University. My 20s were spent mountain biking before I bought my first road bike in 2011.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

I was watching a friend compete in a local triathlon in 2014 and asked myself why it wasn’t me in the pool. I booked my first race that evening and the rest is history. Later that year, I bumped into the founder of our local triathlon club, Eric Perrier, who encouraged me to join Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club and get some structured training in. I now race in club colours and sit on the committee, in turn welcoming new members into the club!

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

Outlaw Holkham Half in June 2018. The location makes it special but the course was brutal – 32 degree heat, strong headwinds and a hilly run!

And your proudest achievement?

Smashing my 70.3 PB at Holkham.

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

I got stuck in my wetsuit in the final race of 2017. The zip had jammed requiring two marshals to rip the wetsuit off. That was an expensive race.

How do you overcome setbacks?

2017 was a huge setback – I broke my clavicle, scapular and separated my shoulder in a skiing accident, requiring 2 surgeries and 4 months off the bike. I love competing at Hever Castle so set that as an end of season comeback event. Lots of structured training and support from my tri club got me there, along with another PB.

What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

Set structured training goals. Consistency is the key to success.

What are your goals for 2018?

Go sub 5:15 at an Ironman 70.3.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I’m always inspired by Lucy Gossage – 11 Ironman championships at the same time as working full time as a doctor!

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

I like the simplicity and ethics of the brand. I absolutely love my Grande Casse Hoody, wearing it for autumn and spring runs as well as lounging around the house.

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