• Andy Cole Athlete Ambassador

    racing cycling triathlon

    Andy got into the sporting world later in life and aspires to race for the Team GB Age Group team. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    No, far from it really, I didn’t really get into running and cycling until I was in my mid thirties then multisport came a few years after that.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    As a parent watching my young daughter train with our local Tri Club I slowly was drawn into the adult training sessions and then coerced into entering my first event.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Outlaw Half Nottingham 2017, it was my first ever Triathlon and as a 70.3 event a rather large one, I had been a feed station volunteer and course marshal previously and it was great to be on the other side and soaking up all the support and positivity.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    The progression from struggling to swim more than 25m in late 2016 to completing an Full Outlaw 3800m swim in July 2019.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Yes I have crashed at the start of a two up Cycling Time Trial and then had to catch up to my partner with blood pouring from my elbow and knee.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Don’t dwell on it, look for the next positive as it wont be far away.

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

    Don’t forget to enjoy the moment, your supporters are so join them.

    What are your goals?

    I hope to be able to represent Great Britain as an Age Group athlete in the future, I will work towards this by continuing to do the best I can and work on my weaknesses.

    Who inspires you?

    I’m inspired by a range of people, as my daughter got me into the world of Triathlon and she continues with it her determination and drive inspires me, other Sundried ambassadors Claire Steels and Genia Marek inspired me a number of years ago when we shared the same coach and I could see how hard they were working and the results they achieved.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I have been wearing Sundried clothing for a number of years as I liked the whole picture behind the brand, the ethos and the products. By becoming a brand ambassador I hope to connect with people who are not yet aware of the ethos and the quality products enabling them and ultimately the wider world to benefit from what Sundried are passionate about.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Katherine Jones Athlete Ambassador

    running runner cross country fitness

    Katherine first got into triathlon at university and has since raced at an international level. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I've always been pretty active. I started playing tennis aged 6 and played competitively until 16, then took up running and joined the cross country team at university. I did a lot of running and gym work with no real structure in my early 20s and it's no surprise I had a lot of niggly injuries back then! After buying a road bike and deciding to give triathlon a proper go, I joined my local tri club 'Abingdon & Vale' in 2015.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    At university. I ran for the cross country team and lived with rowers who were into cycling and triathlon. I really wanted to give triathlon a go, but knew so little about the distances, the kit and how to train. I was a bit naïve looking back! I entered the Crystal Palace Triathlon on a whim with no swimming ability and with a second hand road bike that was far too big for me. I made a lot of mistakes and didn't attempt another race for a long time!

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Leeds Standard Distance in 2019. It was a GB Age Group qualification event. I'd trained hard in the months leading up to it so the day was a mixture of emotions for me, but the atmosphere running into the City and finishing on the infamous WTS blue carpet is unbeatable. Plus you get to watch the Pros race the same course a few hours later. I can't wait to go back there hopefully in 2021!

    What is your proudest achievement?

    It has to be qualifying to represent Great Britain in my Age Group at the European Sprint Championships in 2020 and 2021.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Taking my feet out so early on the bike leg of a tri (thinking I was closer to the finish than I was in reality) and cycling for about 20 minutes with freezing cold, bare feet and very little grip, thinking the finish was just around the corner... it led to a slow and painful T2 and no feeling in my feet on the run.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try to look at the opportunities that a setback presents. In sport, if I'm injured and can't run or bike, I can work on my strength and conditioning, swimming or things I tend to neglect like stability work. I also try to look at what went wrong to cause the setback, what I could've done differently and what I've learnt for next time.

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

    That not every session needs to be an all out, PB effort. Do the easy sessions easy and the hard sessions hard. Also I wish I'd understood the importance of good nutrition for fueling training and recovery properly.

    What are your goals?

    In triathlon it's to keep striving to be better across all 3 disciplines and to improve at the little things like getting the nutrition, conditioning and rest right. My goal for 2021-2022 is to finish in the top 3 in my age group in either a European or World Championship race for GB.

    Who inspires you?

    In sport I look up to the females who have worked hard and succeeded in triathlon. For me, the ones that stand out are Chrissie Wellington and Vicky Holland. Both very down to earth, happy people who have achieved amazing results in the sport through hard work, grit and determination.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I remember seeing someone at a triathlon in Sundried kit and thinking how sleek and professional it looked. I researched the brand and was impressed with its ethics and commitment to producing high quality and affordable gear. I've been racing and training in Sundried kit ever since and wouldn't go anywhere else. I'm excited to work with Sundried and hopefully help to develop the brand.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ffion Caines Athlete Ambassador

    athlete triathlon Sundried activewear

    Ffion is an athlete who fought courageously against bone cancer. She talks to Sundried about her journey.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I always got involved in every sport I could while I was at school, and I also played netball for a club until I was 16. After that, I joined a local gym and have now been a loyal member for 7 years!

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I first got into Triathlon during the first lockdown in March. My father was supposed to participate in Ironman Wales this September, I always called him crazy for wanting to do it! So with the gyms shut I decided to join him in his training, and I’ve become totally hooked.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    I haven’t done many races yet, but in November 2019 I participated in the Richard Burton 10k road race. I hadn’t done much training at all and everyone was telling me how hilly the route was, which was making me more nervous! But I absolutely loved it, the route was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible. It definitely sparked my love for running. Unfortunately I was only able to participate virtually this year!

    What is your proudest achievement?

    At the age of 6 I was diagnosed with bone cancer. After years of treatment, I ended up having a section of the bone in my left arm removed. I was told I that I wouldn’t have much use out of my arm, but it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything! There isn’t much that I’m unable to do with it, and I’m so glad that it doesn’t hold me back.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    No, not yet. And I hope there isn’t many in the future!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I take a step back and evaluate the situation. What did I do wrong and what can I do differently next time? Every setback teaches me something new and I will use it to my benefit in the future.

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

    Don’t compare yourself to others! There are people out there who have been doing this for years, they are going to be faster and more experienced. You will get there some day!

    What are your goals?

    Short term goals - complete two half ironman events next year, and I hope to improve my time between the 2! Long term goals - hopefully compete in Ironman Wales 2022. Fingers crossed!

    Who inspires you?

    Myself. You can look at others for inspiration but nothing will help you get things done other than yourself! You need to want it for you.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sundried is a great brand, and I love their company ethos. There isn’t many companies out there that stand for their values, and it’s an added bonus that their products are great!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Allyson Anstee Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon Ironman UK Sundried activewear

    Allyson is a passionate triathlete who enjoys racing over long distances. She talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, as a school kid I enjoyed athletics and netball, played hockey too but didn't like the bruises. After I left school I started doing aerobic classes and a bit of jogging to keep fit. I've now run consistently all my adult life with only the odd week or two off here and there. I also did karate for a while when my son was young as I went to a session while he did his class which I enjoyed. Later on, I captained my local netball team for a couple of years before leaving when I moved away, I played WA or C and loved it! Running is still my go-to favourite.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    My first triathlon was in 2012; my local town had a "novice" distance event with a shorter swim than a sprint. I'd run every distance up to marathon, and recently got my first road bike, so it seemed like a natural progression - except my swimming wasn't great.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Tough question! My two marathons were both amazing, but I think Ironman UK 2018, I smiled the whole way round, my jaw actually hurt the next day and everyone commented about me being smiley so it has to be that.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Completing Ironman UK. I wasn't confident about my swim, but my training went to plan; the goal was to complete my first one with no specific time in mind. I finished in 13.5 hours; the bike course had been shortened due to fires that year, so if it had been the full course I would have finished at approx 15 hours which I would have been overjoyed with anyway, as it's ahead of the 17-hour cut off.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Yes, an error I blame nerves for. My first middle distance triathlon at Staffordshire 70.3 in 2016. I wasn't really ready to swim the distance, but was really lucky to win an entry and only had 8 weeks to train. For the whole swim my goggles wouldn't seal, I had to keep stopping and treading water to try and fix them. I had to do a lot of head up swimming as they kept filling up with water, I didn't understand what was wrong until after the event. I remembered I'd put suncream on my face when I was getting ready due to being out on the bike and run. It rained anyway! I never did it in training so I don't know why I did it at the hotel room - live and learn!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Try not to dwell too much on them, but use them as a lesson, what can I do differently in future to improve and progress, and try to stay positive and focus on a new goal/future.

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

    Don't compare your kit or yourself to others, own who you are - you're good enough.

    What are your goals?

    Currently to stay healthy, gain strength, and shortly begin training for Ironman Cork 2021, which will mean plenty of sea swimming practice needed.

    Who inspires you?

    Lucy Gossage - she is an amazing athlete, she spoke at the Ironman UK race briefing and I was starstruck, I also saw her whizz past me on the bike course, I shouted "Go Lucy!" and she replied, which was lovely. Also, my Gran, she was a really strong female who I think of often.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I'm very happy to be working with Sundried, being a British company and due to their work ethic and I think it's so important that we can wear clothes made from recycled materials. We all need to consider how to be more sustainable especially with clothing as athletes we can get through a lot with washing and sweating.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ricky Jones Athlete Ambassador

    runner triathlete racing

    Ricky came from a high level swimming background and uses this to his advantage in triathlon. He talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, from a young age I was introduced to swimming to help my asthma issues. After a few years I started to become competitive and found success early. I managed to become a national medalist and trained under coaches such as Terry Davies (Sharon Davies' father). After missing out on the British Team tryouts for 2016 by 0.5 seconds, I decided to focus on school and work. I then spent several years doing many different forms of martial arts and became a CrossFit level 1 trainer. I even enjoy the odd skiing slope session too!

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I found myself a bit bored with the usual gym routine and injuries associated with martial arts, so I started running and mountain biking to offset so much strain on my body and in turn increase my fitness. Whilst doing this I found myself missing swimming as it was such a big part of my life before. Then I found open water swimming close to where I live. After researching the sports, I thought, "why not do triathlon? It makes perfect sense."

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Blenheim Palace Triathlon for sure, I'm not a good sprinter but the palace is beautiful, it's a local race for me and is for a good cause: Blood Cancer Charity.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    My swimming career I would say, being one of the fastest swimmers at individual medley in the country at that time was a great sense of achievement and the result of a lot of hard work.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    During the London Duathlon years ago when I was young, I failed to read the rules and got shouted at a lot trying to mount my bike in the transition area. The race was enjoyable and beautiful but I made lots of mistakes.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Stepping back, assessing why, then retrying with a different approach until I overcome the issue.

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

    One thing at a time! There's a lot of overwhelming information and things to buy or do in triathlon. Just do one at a time.

    What are your goals?

    To complete Ironman Wales in a competitive time. It's meant to be one of the hardest Ironman triathlons in the way of elevation and course and I would like to complete it in an impressive time.

    Who inspires you?

    I'm inspired by all Olympic athletes as I know the level of work it takes to get to where they are. More specifically Ross Edgley is one of my biggest inspirations, I have read all his books and take from his teachings. I used to swim in the same circuit as Lucy Charles and it's inspiring to see what she has achieved, so impressive!

    Why work with Sundried?

    I have used Sundried for a long time, I try to use brands, products and foods that are local, sustainable and eco friendly and Sundried fits into this perfectly. We only get one planet.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren