• Nacho Chico Fuentes Athlete Ambassador

    running triathlon racing

    Nacho was overweight as a child but after running to lose weight, he soon found a passion for sport and racing. He talks to Sundried about life as an athlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    My story starts with a kid constantly dealing with being overweight and all the issues it carried such as very low self-esteem, schoolmate's comments and their behavior towards me. When I was10, I started running as an obligation not as a way of having fun.

    One day I decided to join a 5km race with my father, and when I finished it, I felt exhausted, but at the same time, I experienced a self-satisfaction feeling that I got hooked on. At that point I decided to start doing a wider range of sports with more steadiness and finally, few years later, triathlon captivated me. The more I practice this combination of three disciplines, the more they call me. I found such a complete and demanding sport.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    When I finished my first marathon (it went horribly wrong, I had to walk the last 10km), I decided to run a half marathon to get rid of the thorn from the marathon. Far from beating my personal best in 21k, I injured my knee to the point of not being able to run or ride a bike, so I started swimming. The first time I could barely hold 50 meters distance without taking a rest.

    It took a lot of determination, perseverance and discipline to keep into swimming (I didn´t like it at all), but after all the effort I made, I started falling in love with it. As a result, I signed up for my first Olympic distance triathlon.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite race, the most special, and the one in which I have suffered the most has been “Full Ican Gandia” which was held the past October (2020).

    The reason why it is my favourite, apart from being first in my category and sixteenth overall in my Ironman debut, is because of all the hard work, discipline, and suffering behind it. Seeing how my whole environment has supported me during the process and during the race day, it has meant everything to me, and I am and will eternally be grateful to them. I have never ever felt so wrapped up.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    This question goes a bit hand to hand with the last one. I think the most time-consuming, tough and sacrifice moments were during the preparation of an Ironman. So, to conclude with this question, I would say that the achievement so far that I am most proud of is the total time of 10:06:22 that I did in last Ironman, because it reflected and meant to me, that all the efforts made were more than worth it.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I am a very methodical person and in general, before a race I usually prepare everything and review the material, the food, the route etc. But there are always things that you cannot control 100%, or even if you get injured or dehydrated there is nothing the athlete can do.

    I have had some punctures in races, my swimming googles got broken before a triathlon..., during the Ironman, some hours before starting, by mistake I left the water bottles on top of the glass ceramic that had been used just five minutes before so it was still hot, and the result was that I ended up having a newly designed water bottles (the base got completely deformed).

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Every athlete has to be able to overcome problems, and even though at the moment of the misadventure you may feel annoyed or you can easily lose your race due to a simple puncture, I believe that sportsmanship and competitive spirit flourish, and far from abandoning you overcome that problem and still on the run.

    I am very young and when I started racing my head failed me and I pressed the pace too much, sometimes it turned out well and other times badly, but I have been educated to know how to lose as well as how to win. I have never abandoned a race (luckily, I have had few injuries) because afterwards I would be eaten up, so I face the problem and continue. Right now, I know my body and my limits better, and if there are races that cannot be disputed in the first places due to other people's problems, nothing happens, the next one will be THE race for me.

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

    TO TAKE IT EASY. Every process has its stages, and you cannot expect to start any sport by the top of the pyramid; by this I mean that you need to set up realistic objectives and challenges because, otherwise, it can all lead into frustration and giving up. I was one of those who thought that if I was prepared, why not doing an Ironman or a half Ironman?, but thanks to my father who has always been there to temper my stubbornness, I started from the lowest to learn.

    What are your goals?

    This 2021 I have three big sportive goals. The first one is to go below 3 hours in a full marathon (that was my challenge for 2020, my best time is 3:04 hours, but due to COVID-19 the marathon could not be held).

     My second big challenge is to do “El Camino de Santiago Frances” in just 15 days in collaboration with CRIS CONTRA EL CANCER (an organization based in Spain that is responsible for helping patients with cancer and promoting the study and research of cures among other many aspects) to give visibility to cancer.

     And finally, my third great challenge is the IRONMAN CASCAIS in which I am determined to finish first in my category and get that slot to go to the world championship in Kona 2022, which is my big dream.

    Who inspires you?

    I certainly have several references in my life. My father has instilled in me all the values of sport, self-discipline, and hard work without excuses, which has made me the athlete I am today. Both my grandmother and my mother have taught me what it is to fight for what you want, and both are an example of fighters. If we focus on famous athletes, my reference is Javier Gomez Noya. He was able to stand up to all those who told him that he would not be able to compete due to a heart problem, and he has turned out to be the triathlon world champion on several occasions, as well as many other titles and achievements.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I first heard of Sundried by a friend of mine. By scrolling along your website, I found really interesting your concept and what you wanted to transmit, your ethics and your environmental compromise. I truly felt identified with your brand and consider myself a good carrier of your message throughout the Spanish young athletes.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Camille King Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon sport active racing fitness

    Camille was born into a sporty family in a sporty community. She talks to Sundried about her passion for triathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I was lucky to find my passion for sport at a very young age. I was always keen and excited by any sport. I grew up in a climbing family in the bouldering mecca of Fontainebleau in France and I am forever thankful to my parents for immersing me into the world of climbing and mountaineering. The foundation of love for physical activity, adventure and the outdoors was laid.

    My passion for sport has evolved of course over the years, with phases in my younger years when I focused on gymnastics and dance, in addition to climbing. It’s only in my late 20s that I found passion for running, which later expanded to triathlon. Why focus on one sport when you can train for three at once?

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I always knew deep down I wanted to compete in triathlon. But I just didn’t want to compete in any triathlon, I wanted to race Ironman (long distance triathlon)… I didn’t even own a bike! But I was set on that idea in my mind. I just wasn’t too sure how to approach it. It’s the encouragements and support from friends which got me started.

    And not only did I dream of finishing an Ironman … I had been inspired by reading about and watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. That was my real BIG DREAM. To not just spectate the Ironman World Champs on the TV, but to actually take part as an athlete.

    So I bought a bike and three weeks later, I took part in my first triathlon, a local sprint distance race. With a plan in mind to gain experience to make it to the World Champs!

    I barely knew how to swim in the sea (my very limited swimming experience had been in swimming pools) nor even just clip my cleats on my bike pedals… I didn’t let these small details phase me… I somehow made it around the course in one piece. I have to admit that as I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon (sprint: swim 750m, bike 20km and run 5km), I did wonder how on Earth do people complete a full Ironman (Ironman swim 3.8km, bike 180km and then run a whole marathon (42km))! But the desire was burning strong inside…

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    It won’t come as a surprise that my favourite race to date is the IRONMAN World Championships (Kona). I poured so much energy and sweat to firstly qualify for this event. And then, I poured all my heart and soul in training for it. When I landed in Kona Hawaii a week or so before the race, I still couldn’t believe I was there to actually taking part myself as an athlete! The race lived up to its expectations and it was such a truly exceptional experience. The course, the grueling conditions, the competitive field, my family there to support… I give it 110% and no words can describe all the emotions I was going through when racing! I had the race of a lifetime!

    What is your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement to date is obtaining a silver medal in my category at the ITU World Championship in 2019. Who would have thought I would ever stand on the podium at a World Championship J? Not me!

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Oh yes plenty of racing disasters. For example, I went into hypothermia after a very cold swim followed by a cold and windy bike leg, or I had a puncture which led to a crash off my bike, both of these in half Ironman distance races.

    Also I made plenty of racing mistakes such as not remembering where my bike was racked in T1 or running out of T2 with my bike helmet still on my head.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Never giving up and working hard for what I really want. There are no secrets J In some ways, failures feed successes. If I fail to achieve my goals, it makes me want to achieve them even more, so I then double my efforts.

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

    With hindsight, I was naïve when I started triathlon. I had a background in competing in endurance events in running, so I thought I just had to apply my experience to multisport events. It wasn’t that simple as I basically had to learn two new sports! Had I known how much effort it would really take for me to reach my dreams in triathlon, I might have gotten scared.

    However gathering the courage to just go for it and take part, is one of the best decision I made. My humble advice would be to be BOLD, and just chase your dreams, whatever they are.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to keep pushing the limits and be the best I can be in all the sports I practice. They are my dreams.

    Who inspires you?

    I’m inspired by my children (I’m very fortunate to have three little ones). The fill me with inspiration on a daily basis. Watching them embrace every single day with so much energy and enthusiasm, watching them grow and develop at their own pace, watching them tackle their own goals … They are an endless source of motivation. And when they come to support at events, there is nothing I want more than to make them proud and inspire them to chase their own dreams.

    Why work with Sundried?

    The values of Sundried, especially the sustainability and ethics of the brand, are a great fit with how I lead my life. I’m really excited to work with the brand!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Olivier Salmon Athlete Ambassador

    triathlete cycling competing racing F3 Events

    Olivier is a competitive athlete who has achieved some top finishes during his racing career. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes. Despite having asthma in childhood, I’ve always been into sports. But I’ve never been able to make up my mind. I’ve played tennis, fencing, volleyball, done some rowing and lately moved to triathlon.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    One of my colleague was always talking about triathlon. I once said I would try. So she kept sending me invitation to race events. I’ve declined all of them as it was during the weekends and I was still playing volleyball in the national league. Until one that was weekday. I couldn’t turn it down. I remember waking up at 5am to go swimming in a pool and run outside in St Albans. I fell so go after and had a lovely day at work.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    I loved my first 70.3 distance in Chantilly. The scenery was stunning, The weather was perfect. And I overtook my best friend on the run (he was coming back from injury).

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I think it was finishing 3rd overall in the Conquer The Chilterns triathlon sprint plus distance. And 1st overall. It’s only a local event, but winning from time to time makes you feel special.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    The only disaster I can remember of was a triathlon in Montpellier, France. I’ve forgotten to put my chip timing tag one.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I’m pretty strong mentally. I don’t take life too seriously. So I would say setbacks are pretty rare for me. You can learn from everything, good and bad. You learn from your mistakes, and achievements, and move forward.

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

    Do not put socks on in a sprint triathlon. And it’s ok to get wet on your bike. That would have saved me minutes in my transitions!

    What are your goals?

    The ultimate goal would be to compete in a full Ironman. I do believe I have the capacity to finish one. However I’m competitive and want to finish it in a decent time.

    Who inspires you?

    The people you find in weird documentaries on Amazon Prime Video: people cycling from Cape to Cape, doing LEJOG, people running in le marathon des sables, ultra runners, the 50.50.50 cowboy ironman. I love the Brownlee brothers, but I’m not sure if they are a source of inspiration or not.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I love the collection. And I love Sundried's ethic and brand values.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Nacho Villarruel Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon finish line winner athlete

    Nacho is a long distance triathlete who aspires to become a well-known pro athlete. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Since I was little I have been very attracted to sports in general. I started when I was 5 years old. All my family comes from cycling. For example, my father took me to velodrome competitions when I was younger because he was a cyclist.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I started doing triathlon at the age of 13, simply because I had a surname linked to cycling.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favorite race is Ironman 70.3 in Pucon, Chile, which takes place in January. It was my first Ironman brand race that I did and it's my favourite because of the warmth of the people during the race.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I couldn't choose just one as I have many proud achievements. I finished among the top 20 pro athletes at Ironman Barcelona in 2019.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    My biggest disaster was abandoning a 70.3 distance triathlon for health reasons.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    With great dedication; looking at the problems, the causes and how to solve them.

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

    No one in particular gave me all the necessary advice. I maybe wish I'd started doing triathlon sooner.

    What are your goals?

    Being able to become someone in the world of long distance triathlon.

    Who inspires you?

    All my family - both the one I had from birth and the one that I am forming now - plus my friends and colleagues.

    Why work with Sundried?

    For the quality of the clothing and the ethical values that the brand has, such as helping the planet by making its clothes with recycled materials.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Daniel Schofield Athlete Ambassador

    cycling cyclist racing triathlon

    Daniel is an athlete who has done some epic events and achieved some amazing things. He talks to Sundried about life as an athlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been into sport although for a while I never stuck to anything specific, I started with football like a lot of kids then played tennis for a while before getting a knee injury and then after a few years absence without doing anything I tried mountain biking before moving over to road bikes and endurance events in 2012 and haven't looked back since.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    The irony is that I'm not a fan of running, although I think it's a shared common interest with many people. However, I enjoy cycling and swimming. I got into a triathlon courtesy of a friend who roped me into it, although saying that I have only done 2 so far in about 7 years.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    I think it's got to be Revolve24, which is a 24 hour endurance race around Brands Hatch motor circuit. I have done many events but I think that certainly takes the cherry on the cake so far.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I think my proudest achievement has to be linked with my favourite race! My first solo attempt at the 24 hour endurance race I managed to clock up 210 miles in 24 hours. While it's not the biggest distance it's definitely something I like bragging about to friends...until I do it again and hopefully do a higher distance.

    I am looking for a top 5/10 in a race but so far I haven't had the luck of materialising my performance and training into this, I think if I get a podium in a race I would retire!

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    It's part of racing isn't it? One of my clip on aero bars was not tightened properly during an event and I had no multi tool on me! So I had to ride until the transition with one bar normal and one pointing at the front wheel...I'm jinxing it now but I have been fortunate enough to not be involved in crashes during races but I tend to have them while training more often than not!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Not very well! I'm known for rushing back in from injury or crashes to quick and then holding others potentially back because of it. Back in 2017 during the Time Trial season i was disqualified from a local event for not turning off at the designated finish area, I didn't take it well at the time and did not compete for the rest of the season which looking back at was a big mistake as I was growing stronger race after race.

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

    Take it easy and pace yourself! you can still do well gradually ramping up your efforts instead of going at 100% from the start of an event. Although it's pretty certain that at the time if I gave myself that advice i would not have listened and still done it, but that is all part of learning and adapting.

    What are your goals?

    2020 was a complete write off for me as all my planned events got canceled so I have signed up for the Tour of Cambridgeshire UCI Gran Fondo Time trial in Peterborough (UK) next year and making that one of my main goals for next year! I do hope to get a few duathlons in later next year also and maybe an Endurance race if they happen, but I will have to narrow it down. I don't want to overload making up for the lost time!

    Who inspires you?

    So many people for different reasons! Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour in 2012 was one of the main reasons for picking up a road bike! I also look up to Mark Beaumont and Chris Hall when it comes to the endurance side of things.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I have been using Sundried clothing for a while and it is definitely one of my favourite brands especially when it comes to comfort over distances on the bike, i have done many long rides and never had an issue so I'm glad to be able to work with them and continue to spread the word!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren