• Chris Murphy Athlete Ambassador

    triathlete running athlete

    Chris is a triathlete who has been on some fantastic adventures. He talks to Sundried about his journey.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, pretty much, although most of my youth was spent on the football field. I returned to cycling and running later in life when I finally hung up my football boots. The cycling especially has given me many adventures including cycling from London to Paris three times for charity. I have only recently discovered triathlon and I am absolutely loving it.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    My wife and kids have been part of a triathlon club for a few years, whilst I was in a cycling club. After resisting for a while, I slowly got sucked in! At first, I was only taking part in the run and bike sessions as I was virtually a non-swimmer. Eventually I drummed up the courage to attend the coached swim session in the development lane. Initially I really struggled as I couldn’t swim two consecutive lengths without stopping. At that point I thought I would never be able to complete a triathlon over any distance. For someone who was naturally fit and good at most sports, I found it difficult both physically and mentally to cope with the fact that I was a terrible swimmer. Despite this I stuck at it making sure that I swam at least twice a week and I gradually started linking lengths. Eventually I was able to get to the point where I could swim 400 meters without stopping. That was when I finally thought, “Yes…. I can do this!”

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    As I’m pretty new to the sport I don’t have too many races to choose from, but I really enjoyed my first triathlon that had an open water swim. That took place at Alderford near Whitchurch in September 2020 and was one of the few that escaped the covid ravaged season. I surprised myself with a much quicker swim time than I anticipated and loved the bike and run. I also very much appreciated the effort that the organisers had made to ensure the race went ahead. You take so much for granted at these events and it’s only when the opportunity to race is taken away that you realise what you are missing.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    This has to be my first triathlon as I never thought I would ever be able to complete one. It was a pool sprint triathlon, and I was really slow out of the water, but I didn’t care. I had conquered my biggest fear and grinned my way around the bike and run! I'm also immensely proud of the London Paris charity bikes rides. I rode with a group of friends and colleagues that helped raise over £30,000 for Bloodwise and the battle against blood cancers. I met some truly inspirational people along the way.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Not as yet but hoping I can avoid as many as these as possible as my triathlon career progresses. I have had a few on the bike though, including taking a wrong turn in a sportive and descending at speed straight into a ford on a river!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Injuries are part and parcel of any sport and overcoming them is never easy. It is important to focus on the long-term goal instead of getting down about the here and now. I’m not sure if being positive means you heal quicker, but negativity definitely doesn’t help and the journey back to full fitness is much more enjoyable if you have a strong positive attitude.

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

    To start out earlier! As a 50+ triathlete I’m fully aware that I’ve definitely peaked in terms of physical fitness. However, I am living proof that you are never too old to learn a new skill or start a new chapter. If you are willing to step out of your comfort zone the rewards are fantastic, and you never know what you are capable of until you give it a go.

    What are your goals?

    Well, 2020 was supposed to a year of progression before covid intervened. Instead, 2021 is already looking like being a packed 12 months. I have six triathlons booked throughout the spring and summer with the last three at Olympic distance. My season will culminate in September in Italy with Ironman 70.3 Emilia Romagna where my wife and I will both be competing. I am also aiming to complete my first marathon in May.

    Who inspires you?

    I am always inspired by older athletes who are still giving it a go despite getting on in years. At the last triathlon I entered there was a guy sorting his kit out in transition next to me and he was well into his 70’s and still competing. Also, my wife Claire is an Ironman and the reason that I got into triathlon in the first place. The effort and dedication that is required for anyone to commit to that distance just blows me away.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am fully behind the whole sustainable sportswear ideology and wish more companies had Sundried’s ethics and commitment to produce clothes from 100% recycled materials. Plastic pollution is a world problem, and we should all be aware of the legacy that we leave behind for future generations. The fact that Sundried products look and feel fantastic is a huge bonus.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ben Chips Athlete Ambassador

    athlete training CrossFit gym

    Ben is a CrossFitter who discovered a passion for triathlon. He talks to Sundried about his journey.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I was involved in sport from an early age, I played tennis and rode horses from the age of three. I only really started competing at 16 until then I was happy to just be involved. I suddenly realized in 6th form I was better than I had previously thought. Only recently did I have to turn away from rugby due to injury, the diversity this has created in my training is immense and I really enjoying learning from different sports and training systems.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    Over lockdown I was looking to work on my aerobic base for my CrossFit training. Having bought a road bike and started running regularly I now want to do a triathlon next year.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Yet to race, but looking forward to Ironman 70.3 in Luxembourg (provided we can do it).

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Playing an International Rugby League fixture against Ghana for the GB Students.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    No but looking forward to them, I am yet to have a flat tire so can only imagine the universe is saving that for a special day.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Don't over think them, use your resources to manage them and crack on. Life is full of set backs and often we can't change them, we can only do our best to manage our way toward the next best outcome.

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

    Eat more, and don't look at new bikes...

    What are your goals?

    To one day complete an Ironman.

    Who inspires you?

    Sonny Bill Williams, he is a superb athlete. He competes in both codes of rugby. He came from humble beginnings and at first went down the route of partying and drinking in his spare time. He soon levelled out and focused on his career and the example he was setting as an athlete. He is a tough competitor (still playing for the All Blacks at the age of 35) but also humble.

    One of his most memorable moments was when he handed over his World Cup winners medal to a young fan that had invaded the pitch. Sonny took him from the security guards, embraced him and escorted the child back to his parents before putting his Gold medal around the fan's neck.

    'My toughest opponent? Probably myself, mentally.' - Sonny Bill Williams

    Why work with Sundried?

    I was introduced to Sundried by my Girlfriend Sophie Bankes, she was always saying how good the gear is, I am now addicted to their cycling socks. being a newbie to cycling and triathlon its great to see a brand that provide quality equipment at an affordable price.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jack Oliver Athlete Ambassador

    triathlete mountains nature

    Have you always been into sport?

    I've not no, I'm a relative late-comer to the sport and only started about 3 years ago.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    It was a challenge from a friend to do one and since then I've been hooked.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    The best race I've done was the Helvellyn Triathlon. The route takes you around some of the most amazing parts of the Lake District including riding up The Struggle and climbing to the top of Helvellyn.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Just finishing! That's when you know everything has come together as it should have done, the training has paid off and the race went as well as it could.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I once forgot my front wheel and had to race back to get it. I barely made it to the start.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    By staying positive, taking small steps forward and if i need to taking a step back and reminding myself why I do it.

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

    Enjoy it! Have fun; you're going to learn so much about yourself and the sport but to start with just have fun and enjoy it.

    What are your goals?

    Next year I'd like to qualify for the GB Age Group team and compete the Lake District treble - swim the length of Derwent water, ride the Fred Whitton, and run the Bob Graham all continuously.

    Who inspires you?

    The normal person who has a family, a job and other commitments but finds the motivation and passion to get out and train and still manages to smash their goals and do amazing things whilst balancing all the other things that life throws at them.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sundried is a great brand, I've been using the kit for a while and highly rate it. It's great to be working with a brand that is as psyched about triathlon as me.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Raging Bull Coaching - Sundried Ambassadors

    triathlon coach cycling

    Rhys and Freddie are high level triathletes and together they make up Raging Bull Coaching. They talk to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, both of us have been racing since we can remember.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    Rhys- I got into triathlon after doing an aquathlon because I used to swim and run for my local clubs and one of the parents said I would be quite good and to give it a go. I won that aquathlon and never looked back, picking up cycling and falling in love with triathlon.

    Freddie- I started when I was 14 years old after being told I would be good by a local coach. This was after I competed at the world champs for biathle at 13. I started swimming when I was 10 and then was doing regional and nationals by the age of 15. I stayed swimming at that level until 17 where I then took up triathlon as my full focus.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Rhys- Ibiza European Duathlon AG championships because I won my first race abroad and was able to represent my country at the same time as putting in a PB performance.

    Freddie- Liverpool British champs where I finished 3rd in the elite youth and managed to qualify to represent my country at European races for the next few years.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Rhys- Winning the European Duathlon AG championships.

    Freddie- 3rd at British Triathlon Championships.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Rhys- I've definitely had my fair share, best one to date is trying to sprint into front back after a strong swim and quick transition to then jump onto my bike start accelerating then my foot slipping off, hitting the ground and throwing me over the bars ending my race. Going from seeing the back of the front back to the back of the ambulance.

    Freddie- I crashed out at Riga on the bike leg as another athlete crashed into me taking us both off the road and ending our races there and then.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    You have to first establish if you had control of the set back, if you didn't then move on knowing it's not your fault and keep moving forwards. If it is in your control then you need to work out why it happened, go back and find the cause and then work out a solution to either stop it happening again or to adapt to the setback if it is permanent.

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

    Racing is 70% mental and 30% physical. Training is 70% physical and 30% mental. and that preparation is key making sure you have the right mindset going into not only a race but training and that you aim to get everything out of each session. But also just enjoy it, love the process.

    What are your goals?

    Rhys- Commonwealth Games and to become a full time athlete

    Freddie- Qualify for the World Cross Championships (Elite/Pro)

    Who inspires you?

    Rhys- Gustav Iden

    Freddie- Kristian Blummenfelt

    Why work with Sundried?

    Because they are an environmentally focused company who makes great quality kits with cool designs and have great athlete communication and adaption.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Erin Edminister Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon athlete fitness

    Erin is an American athlete who has competed internationally. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I swam for 4 years at Drury University and ran cross country and track in graduate school, so picking up cycling was the next obvious thing.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    The Tiszaujvaros Triathlon World Cup in Hungary, I love the prelim/final format and it's such a fun city.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    4th place at Tiszaujvaros in 2017.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Mexico tends to be the country I do worst in for some reason, I have had several poor swims there and flatted out. Traveling overseas is a long way to go to get a flat tire.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Put it behind you and keep going.

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

    Never take any opportunity for granted.

    What are your goals?

    Inspire my two little girls to do what they love and work hard everyday.

    Who inspires you?

    All the mommas out there who put their families first but continue to follow their dreams.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am always interested in partnering with quality brands, I am excited to try Sundried as I feel there are few companies who really make quality kits.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren