Skip Snelson Athlete Ambassador
Skip is a young triathlete who has big aspirations for the future. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I have loved sport from a very young age. In primary school, I competed in as many school competitions as possible, such as cross country, sports days and other activities we did against other schools near us. Over the years I have competed in triathlon which is my main sport and also in a range of other sports like football in my local team, cricket at school and in my local team and hockey has also been a sport I have done in secondary school.
How did you get triathlon?
I have been doing triathlon since I was 9 years old. I would say I came from a running background as that was the first sport of the three I did. I first started running for my primary school in cross country which I did quite well in. Once I had done a few running races, my parents got me into a swim club and a cycling club as my dad used to compete in triathlon.
Once I had done all three sports individually, my parents put me into a triathlon race in the East Midlands triathlon series and from then on I started to do triathlon.
Triathlon is such a great sport as you get to do 3 sports all in one and get to meet so many people along the way so I think that is why I have a kept doing it.
What's been your favourite race to date and why?
Super League Malta has been my favourite race to date. I was selected for this race at the start of season in a qualification race which was great as it was one of my first international races. Malta was such an amazing country to race in and the atmosphere from the crowd was amazing as the pros had been racing on the same day. I was happy with where I finished in the race as it was very tough in the heat.
The format is also very different from a normal triathlon and that is why it is my favourite race. Instead of just the normal swim bike run, it's twice! This means Swim Bike Run then straight back into the sea for another Swim Bike Run. It was also great to be able to meet some of the pros and watch them race around the exact same circuit as we did.
What's been your proudest achievement?
I think my proudest achievement in triathlon was getting selected and competing in my first international race in 2018 in Super League Jersey. I was a year down in my age group so I knew it would be tough to get the top 12 required for selection. However, I managed to get the top 12 after a great run leg which was amazing. Going to the event representing GBR for the first time felt very special. I got to wear a brand new trisuit with the UK flag down the side and I got to race against some of the best athletes in Europe.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I haven’t had any racing disasters, however I have had some poor races in the past. For example, Leeds in 2019 was a race I was not well prepared for. I hadn’t had the best sleep in the few days prior to the event and my nutrition was not planned correctly. The morning before I was up too late which meant I was eating closer to the race than I normally do. Therefore in the race after the swim I didn’t feel very well which meant I did very poorly on the bike and run which meant I didn’t collect many points in this race which was an important race as a lot of my rivals weren’t in the race.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Overcoming setbacks can be hard however, I like to write down or think about different stages leading up to the setback and during the setback to see what I could have done differently or what I could have changed to decrease the chance of the setback occurring. This helps to develop yourself as an athlete and helps you move on and get better. Asking coaches or parents for advice or just having a third party opinion is always great as they may see something that you don’t which can help reduce setbacks.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Focus on yourself and not others. When I was younger the big race was at the end of the year usually at Mallory Park or Nottingham. for these races I was against the top athletes in my age group and that was all I focussed on which meant when it came to the race I didn’t do the best I could as I was always thinking about people that were better than me rather than thinking about how I was going to beat them. Focusing on them meant I made some mistakes in the race which cost me a lot of time.
What are your goals?
Unfortunately this year I have not been able to compete for the goals I have set due to all the races being cancelled. However, in the future I am aiming to qualify for European juniors and world juniors from the British super series in 2021. Then in 2021 I also have goals to get into development squads at some of the top triathlon performance centre universities.
Who inspires you?
When I was younger I used to watch Liam Tancock who was a professional backstroke swimmer and a world record holder in 50m backstroke. He may be the reason that in swimming I enjoy competing not only in front crawl but backstroke as well.
Throughout triathlon I have been inspired by Javier Gomez Noya who is a Spanish triathlete who now competes in Ironman triathlon but used to perform in the ITU series which he has won 3 series titles in and has also won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics. It has always been amazing to watch him race and listen to what he has to say about races in terms of his performance in each race. Overall the success he has had so far is very inspiring.
Why work with Sundried?
I decided to join Sundried after having so many athletes tell me such great things about the kit and how friendly the company is. Seeing other athletes in the kit looks so good. The kit looks very professional and is sold at such great prices. The social media and community that are wearing and doing sport is very inspiring. People seem so happy in the kit and performing in sport which was a huge part of why I wanted to be part of Sundried. The cycling kit offered by Sundried is made from very good materials and just looks so professional. Wearing the kit makes you feel part of a huge community who are all supporting each other in sport.