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Will Grace Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren
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Will is a triathlete who has achieved some great results for the Team GB age group team. He talks to Sundried about some of his best races to date.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, I have been into sport since I was young, playing rugby from the age of 7 to 18. When I started university at Southampton, I decided to switch sports to try something new (and the fact everyone was much bigger than me) and dedicated the next three years to rowing.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

I have always enjoyed running and cycling since a young age. When I left university I decided to focus more on these sports and joined Chichester Triathlon club, where I attended the coached swim lessons and was told I was a fast swimmer despite my ‘unique’ swimming style. Since then I have received coaching for my swimming, and as a result it has improved drastically. And so I decided to join all three disciplines together and rather enjoyed it.

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

Last year I went out to Tartu, Estonia to compete in the European Championships for my age group. Being my first European event, the whole experience of racing abroad with strong competition was exciting. Having the whole family out to support me, with it being my parents' first time watching me race, set the adrenaline rushing.

And your proudest achievement?

This would have to be the same race as above, the European age group championships out in Tartu Estonia. After a feisty swim and fast bike I ended up coming second in my age group and 6th overall.

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

My toughest race to date isn’t actually a triathlon. In the summer of 2017, I competed in the Fan Dance, which copies the gruelling 24km SAS Selection test march staged over Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons, carrying a 35lb Bergen plus food and water. My brother and I did the race to raise money for a local hospital ward close to our hearts, which gave me the motivation to push through the race and actually win the event.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I always look forward with a smile, knowing that what I am going through is only temporary, and have the confidence to stick with what I’m doing. This is what I told myself last October when I broke my ankle out training in the week leading up to The Great South Run.

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

Never to ease up just before you finish, even if you think there is enough distance. Some people can sprint fast in those last 100 metres.

What are your goals for 2019?

I have already achieved my first aim of the season very recently. That was to qualify for the ITU worlds out in Edmonton, Canada. I competed in the Anglian Water qualifier, where I won my age category and came 3rd overall.

My next goal for the year is to improve on last year’s European position. At the beginning of June I am going out to Weert, Holland to compete in the European age group championships. But no matter what, I’m out there to enjoy every second of it.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I have taken inspiration from many sportsmen and women from the past and present. However having taken up running more seriously since starting triathlons, I have become a huge fan of Eliud Kipchoge, watching someone tinkering on the edge of what others believe to be impossible is truly inspiring.

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

I like how the company is using its sports background to help tackle many of the issues that we are facing today.

My favourite kit so far is the cycling bib shorts and jersey, which look so good, and are perfect for the summer.

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