• Miriam Simmons Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried triathlon ambassador

    Miriam didn't get into sport until later in life but has since completed some amazing challenges. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I only really started getting into sport after my divorce. I was in my 40s, I noticed I was unfit and putting on weight. I didn't like either so I decided to do something about it!

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I had heard of a local triathlon club, MedwayTri, which welcomed anyone at any stage of fitness and any age. As it covers three sports I enjoyed, I decided to give it a go. I had to seriously tackle my front crawl swimming technique and sometimes this was tough as I seemed always to be the slowest. I have never really been a strong swimmer, especially with front crawl. However, I found in triathlon I could make up the slow swim times on the bike and run part which was very rewarding!

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

    My favourite race to date was the Windsor Triathlon, as I did it in memory of my father who died of dementia. I was brought up nearby and my father also taught maths at Windsor Boys school and was well loved, so Windsor is very special to me.

    My mother and friends came to watch and cheer me on; it was the first race she had supported me at since school! The cycling part was quite emotional for me as it brought back many familiar family memories, covering many places I had grown up in. I did shed a tear or two. When I completed the race by the magnificent Windsor Castle, it was so euphoric and felt amazing. I also managed to raise some money for The Dementia Charity too. 

    And your proudest achievement?

    I think my proudest achievement to date is completing Man vs Mountain Rat Race 2016 in Snowdonia, Wales. It's a 22-mile run over the mountain with land and water obstacles thrown in. Jumping from height into a freezing quarry was one, then carrying on to another obstacle and so on. This time I raised money for a local Hospice, where a close friend of mine had been lovingly cared for during his last few days. I was completely knackered after this race, but my friendly team kept me going throughout with support and welcome humour, which is much needed going up a mountain in the rain with 60mph winds!

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I was cycling with my local club one weekend when one of the guys overtook me on a descent, so I decided to try and catch him up! I didn't know the hill, the others shouted out to be careful, but I didn't hear as I was in 'chase' mode. I crashed into a fence at 35mph on a sharp, wet bend on a busy road. I luckily had time to pick between a brick wall or wooden fence to stop me as my brakes were only making my bike wobble. I knew the fence was softer and safer as the brick wall was closer to the road and would have thrown me into the line of traffic.

    I head a crack, and thought 'there goes my carbon bike frame', but it turns out, the crack was my scapula and my collar bone! I had crashed at an accident black spot, or so the ambulance crew told me.

    After this accident (my greatest sporting setback), I turned to yoga as this was gentle and allowed me to get fit again carefully. My yoga teacher also pointed out that the shoulder injury had caused misalignment in my body, which I have subsequently slowly corrected. Yoga helped me mentally and physically regain my sporting confidence and I think it really complements my sporty life.

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

    Before starting triathlons, I wish someone had introduced me to yoga for the stretching and calming qualities it has. Some other advice I wish I had been given:

    • Relax more in all the stages of a race
    • Everyone is nervous
    • Do the best you can with your own abilities
    • It's your race, no one else's

    What are your goals?

    My only goal is to get fitter with age and respect my body and mind. I'm not that competitive so it's not about winning, but I want to challenge myself. I'd like to cycle abroad in far-off places such as Cambodia and further afield and maybe across the continent; always raising money for a given cause is a must!

    I feel I am an ordinary woman who likes to challenge herself, not grow old and boring! We all have choices and I choose to be an inspiration to all women in their 50s! 

    Who inspires you?

    I love reading about 'ordinary folk' doing extraordinary things, like Danny Bent and Joshua Skeets (who is local to me).

    Why work with Sundried?

    I love the brand as it's British and considers the environment and the impact we have on it. I love the fact some of the gear is made from coffee grounds! Very clever. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Brit Tate Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador triathlete

    Brit loves the grit and determination it takes to succeed in triathlon and has her sights set on a world title. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I have always been into sport. I used to play football when I was younger and got selected for Leeds United Women's Academy but had lots of knee injuries so ended up competing in modern pentathlon nationally for a few years then got into triathlon when I was 16. I suffered with a hip injury which stopped me running and I headed into semi-professional cycling for 5 years before being able to return to triathlon in 2015.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I came from modern pentathlon and I loved the swim, run and horse riding parts but didn't like the fencing - it's far too technical, like playing a game of chess with a sword! I much prefer just brute guts and effort in sport.

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

    My favourite race would probably have to be the Cozumel World Age Group Championships as the water was like swimming in a fish tank; so beautiful and so pretty and the experience of racing in Mexico was epic!

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement would be finishing my first half Ironman in Thailand last year. I bonked so badly and was in a lot of pain with an old injury. I didn't think I would finish the race but I made myself finish and now I have gained so much mental strength for being in such a bad place during that run and still being able to finish and I even came 2nd in my age group!

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

    My toughest race was probably Thailand half Ironman last year as it was 35 degrees Celsius and 75 percent humidity; I got my nutrition wrong and really suffered on the run, I vomited all the way round! Either that or Cozumel where I spent 20 minutes in the medic tent at the end of the race with heatstroke and couldn't see the finish line because my vision had gone completely white!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    When I have a setback I always question why I'm doing what I'm doing and do I really want to carry on as it's just a hobby. But I always come to the conclusion it's much more than just a hobby; it gives me a purpose to get out of bed in the morning, to be enthusiastic and bubbly as a person and push myself to be the best person I can be. So however big the setback, the benefits of doing triathlon for my physical but most importantly my mental health always outweigh it.

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

    For me it was the advice I needed before doing the longer distances: I wish someone had told me to heat-train properly and to prioritise nutrition in my race preparation as that was my main downfall last year.

    What are your goals?

    I want to win an Age Group World Championship as I have been so close on many occasions! I would also like to win a half Ironman overall, not just in my age group (excluding the professionals of course!)

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Watching how the professionals train really excites me and makes me want to get out there and push my body.

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

    The main reason I wanted to be linked to Sundried is the eco friendly side of the company. When I was in Thailand last year, I was so shocked to see the state of the ocean. There was so much pollution and plastic and since then I have been looking for a way to link myself to a company working to clean up the oceans. My favourite piece of kit would be the stealth cycling tops; they look really professional and are made from really high quality material.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Igor Dimovski Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete running triathlon

    Igor is a Macedonian athlete who started out as a swimmer and was inspired to try triathlon by his son. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I started swimming in 1984 when I was 6. Back then, every child was "forced" to go out to play, socialise, play sports or do art; not like today locked up at home in front of screens. At the age of 6, I not only learned to swim, but I also started competing. They were children's races, but they were still very important to me. By doing these races as a child, I gained valuable experience for adult races later in life.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    In 2015, I had to move to Dubai for work. One morning, my eldest son phoned me and talked about doing triathlon, which was a sport I didn't know about. I was curious to find out more so I started training hard and competing. As with swimming, I now do it with great passion and drive to succeed.

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

    I wanted to be a triathlete, but I didn't have a bike, so I had to borrow one to be able to compete. For the 2019 National Championships, I borrowed a bike at the last minute and still managed to win. That's my favourite yet most unpredictable race ever.

    And your proudest achievement?

    It is the dream of every long-distance elite swimmer to swim the English Channel one day. It has long been a challenge for swimmers around the world to come and fight the waves and unpredictable cold-water currents that can sometimes be fatal. Anyone who attempts it deserves great respect in my opinion. Swimming the English Channel is, therefore, my proudest achievement.

    Apart from this, my second proudest achievement is taking 5th place at the Balkan Triathlon Championships in Istanbul in 2019.

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

    I can't say that I've ever had a disastrous race, as I'm still pretty new to the world of triathlon. Hopefully I will never have one!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    In 1997, I was the only university representative at the University of Sicily, Italy, and when it came to books and the promise of a 200-meter backstroke in less than 2 minutes and 10 seconds to take me to Sweden's upcoming World Cup, I was faced with the biggest hurdle. I swam a few hundredths of a second from the Olympic record of 2.07.53, but I was not in the team for reasons still unclear to me (only now I realise there was no one to push me, which is how the system still works to this day, unfortunately).

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

    Nothing makes you feel more motivated than having your son competing with you at the same race.

    What are your goals?

    My wish is not only to be the most successful Macedonian athlete with the title of state champion in two Olympic sports (swimming and triathlon) but I also aspire to win another medal from the Balkan Triathlon Championships.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My family and my children.

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

    The Sundried brand looks great. I really love the men's trisuits. They are so elegant but also perform very well. I'll definitely buy one for my upcoming races.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jack Powis Athlete Ambassador


    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Andrew Convery Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador

    Andrew enjoys a challenge and even ran a full marathon in his back garden. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I've always loved sport and pushing myself.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I love all three sports and thought it was time to level up.

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

    I haven’t completed a triathlon yet and I’m still hopeful for my first in 2020. My most memorable event would be completing my first marathon; running around a 15m circle in my back garden live on Facebook the day after VE day to raise money for the charity Mind.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Not stopping during my first half marathon.

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

    Mentally, it was the marathon in my garden. I was scared but had amazing support online.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    With some downtime, plenty of meditation, visualisation and reading, which give my mind the strength to come back stronger.

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

    Don’t worry about what event you're going for, just go for it.

    What are your goals?

    To raise awareness and money for the charity Mind, and keep trying to push to be the best I can be.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Ant Middleton, Henry Fraser, my wife, my children, my auntie, and Duncan Bannatyne.

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

    I love the kit because it's so comfortable. Choosing my favourite is a tough one between the socks and the padded coat.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren