Stu is an outdoors enthusiast who loves adventure. He talks to Sundried about fell running and extreme triathlon.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been an outdoors/active person. We had horses when I was younger and I spent a lot of time riding around the woods on my bike and making jumps. As a teenager, I spent many weekends traveling around North Wales with my parents finding new places to go mountain biking. Since then, I have had a go at loads of sports. If it gets me outside and keeping fit then I'm happy!
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was running and cycling anyway, and decided to start swimming to improve my fitness. A lot of people from the swimming class were part of the local triathlon club, so I was intrigued to give it a go and try something new.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
The Slateman Legend triathlon. Swimming in the lakes and cycling and running in the mountains of Snowdonia is always special to me. So to be out doing all three with the racing atmosphere was a lot of fun.
And your proudest achievement?
The first fell race I did was a local one. I hadn't trained specifically for it but managed to come 3rd overall. It was a good feeling and it left me wanting to get out and do more.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Halfway through the Kong Mini Mountain Marathon, which is a navigational/orienteering race. It was raining, misty and windy on the tops so I could only see a few hundred meters. I'd set a bearing for my next checkpoint. As I was running I noticed a couple of people in the distance who were going a slightly different direction. I thought maybe I was slightly off, so I followed their path.
Eventually I got to a checkpoint, set my next bearing and ran. After 15 minutes or so I realised I had gone completely wrong. After some time figuring out roughly where I was, I ran to the top of the nearest summit to get an accurate location of where I was on the map. I set a bearing to the next checkpoint and carried on. I had wasted around 45 minutes. After the race I checked the GPS data and realised that those two people had gone to a different checkpoint than the one I thought I was going to, hence why when I set my 2nd bearing, it took me off course. Lesson learnt!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Remember to be patient and realistic. You can always build it up again. Stay inspired and learn.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
With training, don't do too much too soon. Warming up is very important. Stretching is important. Being injured over and over again isn't fun!
What are your goals?
One day, Ironman Wales and an ultra trail run.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Everyone around me who is capable and humble.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like how Sundried produce sustainable clothing which is also quality. The cycling bib shorts and jerseys are my favourite at the moment.