triathlete stretching wetsuit swim

Scott was inspired into triathlon by a relative and hasn't looked back since. He talks to Sundried about the highs and lows of racing. 

Have you always been into sport?

I've been into sport pretty much my whole life. I started with team sports at primary school and very quickly discovered that although I could run around and go fast, my skills didn't quite match up to my engine. But I persevered and played football until secondary school and then ice hockey until I was about 20.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

The idea came to me from a relative who at the time was 70 and was doing triathlons (he still is!) After stopping ice hockey, I spent a while just going to the gym and going running for fun but eventually needed a new focus. I needed a new challenge and it's safe to say I definitely found it in triathlon.

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

Challenge Almere Middle Distance 2017. I don't think it was my fastest or best placed middle distance race but everything clicked into place perfectly and I was able to completely empty the tank on the run. Sometimes that doesn't happen because there's such a long time for things to go wrong, so I really enjoyed being able to 'race' the run rather than just getting through it.

And your proudest achievement?

Probably my whole 2017-2018 season. Not for any one particular performance but for what I did in the season. I raced The Championship in Slovakia, ITU Long Distance World Champs in Odense, ETU Sprint Distance European Champs in Glasgow and ETU Middle Distance European Champs in Ibiza. It was a lot of travelling and racing in high pressure conditions. By the end of the season I was totally done in but how I handled myself during the season made me pretty proud.

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

My one DNF... it was a sensible decision at the end of the day but I still wish it hadn't happened. I was preparing for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2015 and raced the 'A Day In The Lakes' middle distance triathlon, in spite of issues with my Achilles. I got through the swim which was cold and miserable. I got through the bike which was full of hail and sleet and just generally a horrible time. I got 4km into the run and my Achilles started playing up. If I hadn't been racing at the World Champs in a few weeks time I might have pushed on or even walked the rest of the run. But to get that far into the race just to have to take a shortcut home and hand in my timing chip was devastating.

How do you overcome setbacks?

My Achilles issue was a big setback for me, I was super fit at the time and lost a lot of fitness. But by being methodical about it I know I can break the problem down and tackle it like that. I was able to say, "yes maybe it has messed up the rest of the season but I can get over it." I broke it down and figured out why it had happened and what I could do to fix it.

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

Don't worry about all the gear yet. If you're going to do Ironman Nice next year - do more training!

What are your goals for 2019 and 2020?

2019-20 season is going to be slightly different from the previous 7. The focus is going to be on doing what I enjoy with a much broader view of racing middle distance/full distance competitively in a few years' time.

Having fun is a big one; if I don't want to swim I'm not going to force myself and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. I want to do an ultra run and I want to do a bike race. I'm also thinking about a week-long self-supported run trek. The idea behind all these things is that not only will I enjoy doing them, in a couple of years my aerobic fitness should be through the roof!

Who do you take your inspiration from?

Although I'm hugely impressed by the professionals' ability to basically train full time (it's harder than you think!) the elite age groupers inspire me most. Some of these athletes have been racing for years and years, getting up ridiculously early to train before going to work a full day, training after work and then going home to spend time with family. That time management and commitment is something I think we can all aspire to, whether it's sport related or not!

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

The eco mindset definitely drew me to the kit at first but having used it for a while now, the quality of the kit itself is a huge plus too. I've used the softshell jacket so much and really like that but I am also a huge fan of the Plaret Training T-shirt (especially because I've never owned a piece of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles before!)