• James Jennings Athlete Ambassador

    cycling triathlon triathlete riding bike

    James went from being overweight and unfit to running and incredibly quick 2:45 marathon. He now enjoys running trail ultra marathons as well as competing for the GB Age Group team in triathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Not exactly, at one point I was overweight and struggled to maintain any sort of base fitness.  Thankfully, motivation came to me in the form of an Ultra Marathon called Trailwalker several years ago and I have not looked back since. Be it Ironman, GB AG Triathlon and Duathlon or indeed Marathon/Ultrarunning, I am always seeking new goals. 

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I was allured by the thought of testing myself against the best athletes in my age category, that and a love of cycling mapped with an ability to turn a decent split of the bike meant I kind of fell into the sport.  I love to constantly test myself and triathlon has a plethora of avenues for this, mastering nutrition, swim technique even functional movement all become independent mini goals I enjoy trying to crack. 

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

    My favourite race to date has to be the ITU Rotterdam Grand Final 2017 (Standard Distance Triathlon).  Never have I worked so hard to qualify and get to a race on that scale. I performed to the best of my ability at that given time and flew home a very happy athlete. 

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was representing the British Army at the London Marathon in 2017 as a Championship runner, and then delivering a personal best with a sub 2:45 run. 

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

    Without a shadow of a doubt, my toughest race to date was the Snowdon Trail Marathon 2018. I completely underestimated the mountain and got my nutrition wrong.  I was underprepared and undernourished. I learned some valuable lessons that day both physical and mental. 

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Setbacks, in my opinion, are options for growth. Failing is how we learn and providing I can understand why something may now have gone as I had expected I am content to learn from it and grow. I am definitely a glass half full type of athlete!

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Remember why you're doing it, it's supposed to be fun! All too often do I see friends burn out and fall out of love with training and competing. Sometimes you need to get out in the fresh air with your friends and just enjoy it, no numbers, no speed or power just fresh air and some good laughs. 

    What are your goals for 2019?

    2019 I will see my biggest challenge to date, I am off to the Sahara to tackle the ‘Hardest footrace on the planet’ the gruelling 250km desert Ultra Marathon, Marathon Des Sables.  Upon completion and providing I can bag decent points I envision application to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc world championships may quickly follow. I have yet to rule out a long distance triathlon or maybe some GB AG racing for which I am already qualified (Transelvania European Duathlon Championships - Romania)

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I draw my inspiration from multiple sources and people, I see someone achieve a goal of which upon reflection I mentally challenge myself to consider. If it appeals and I am free I go ‘all in’ and strive to train for, peak and complete my new goal. 

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

    My favourite thing about Sundried is its ethical approach to manufacturing and sustainability. I love how deeply its foundations run in this area and truly believe it is innovative. My favourite piece of kit has to be the men's running and training vest, stylish, cooling, comfortable and best of all made from 100% recycled fabric. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Guillermo Ortega Athlete Ambassador

    athlete running triathlon

    Guillermo is a long-distance triathlete who has completed some tough mountainous races in Europe. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    I played tennis until I was 20 and then started surfing. I got into triathlon in 2009.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I've always loved running but found it wasn't enough for me, so I started cycling and competing in duathlons. After that it was a natural progression to triathlon.

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

    Embrunman because it's one of the toughest triathlons in the world. It's a full distance triathlon (3.8km swim, 186km bike, 42.2km run) in the Alps in France.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was finishing Embrunman in 2014. 

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

    I've never really had a bad disaster, and I try to forget the bad moments anyway.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I think of my family and friends and their support.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Pace yourself and remember the true race is the one against yourself.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    I will be competing in the Terres de l'ebre triathlon in Spain and Northwest Triman in Galicia, Spain.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Mark Allen, six-time Ironman triathlon world champion.

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

    For me, respect for the environment is very important and Sundried is a pioneer brand in that sense. I really like to think about the future of the planet and want to leave our children a healthy world. My favourite is the Sundried Albaron men's training top.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Amy Ritchie Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried ambassador women's trisuit triathlon

    Amy is an up-and-coming triathlete who has achieved a lot in a short space of time. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I've always been into sport. I joined my local swimming club when I was 8 then swam throughout my teens.  I took up running competitively with a club in University, which led me into triathlon.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    Having a background in swimming and running I always thought it would make sense for me to do a triathlon. Eventually my boyfriend convinced me to enter one last year. I joined a club and haven't looked back since then.

    What's been your best race to date?

    I recently did the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon which was super flat and fast. It was only my third ever triathlon and I qualified to represent GB at the ETU European Age Group Sprint Championships in Glasgow this August which was a big bonus! It was also the first time I felt really confident on the bike leg.

    And your proudest achievement?

    In my late teens, I had quite a bad relationship with exercise and food, becoming quite weak and underweight at one point. My proudest achievement is coming through that and learning to love sport and competing again.

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

    I've not had any racing disasters in triathlon (yet!) but I've had numerous run or swim races where I've had bad races or haven't achieved what I wanted to. You live and learn though.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well. I work full time and volunteer outside of sport so it's often hard to juggle everything, which can be frustrating. However, I think it's important to listen to your body and to know when you need a break, be that physically or mentally. I'll take a few days off, reassess where I'm at, then come back stronger next week. I try to think positively because at the end of the day, I do triathlon because I love it!

    What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    You don't have to have the most expensive kit to do well. I turned up to my first race terrified because people had told me to upgrade my wheels, put tri bars on my bike and so on! Of course better kit can help, but you don't necessarily need it. That, and to enjoy it!

    What are your goals for 2018?

    My main goal for 2018 was to make the GB age group team, which I have, so I'm aiming towards racing well at the European Sprint Championships in Glasgow. I live in Glasgow so it'll be amazing to have lots of home support! After that, I'm looking forward to setting some new goals. I seem to have taken to triathlon quite naturally, as I've only done 3 full triathlons so far, so I'm excited to see how much more I can achieve. I would like to move up to some longer distances next season.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from the people around me. I train with people who do triathlon alongside having demanding full time jobs and looking after their families. Most importantly, they love what they're doing. They inspire me to continue to work hard but also to enjoy what I'm doing.

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

    I love the emphasis on being completely ethical, sustainable and transparent. I work in the sustainability sector and I'm very conscious of the negative impact clothing can have on the environment, so it's amazing that Sundried prioritise the ethics and quality behind their products. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jon Dixon Athlete Ambassador

    Jon Dixon triathlon triathlete fitness

    Jon entered the sport of triathlon relatively late in life but is making up for lost time by having already completed a full Ironman. He talks to Sundried about the year ahead and his preparations for racing the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    I entered the world of sport quite late; I was 28 before I started to take an interest in sport and 31 before starting triathlon.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I was looking for something to change and mix up the type of exercise/training I was doing and triathlon peaked my interest due to the variety it offers.

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

    Ironman UK, in Bolton, is my standout race. The atmosphere from the spectators, especially riding through the villages where the whole streets are lined with people, was amazing. Running down the famous Ironman red carpet to achieve that goal I had set myself was a moment I will never forget.

    And your proudest achievement?

    This is tough as there have been so many! I am often proud of all sorts of aspects of my racing and training, but finishing my first full Ironman has to be it.

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

    I entered a Great Britain qualifier and I started the swim feeling strong but as I got on to the bike and people were flying past me it was hard to stay focused; mentally it became more and more challenging to keep going. At the start of the run I really wanted to quit; keeping going at that point took every ounce of willpower and energy I had!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    There will always be setbacks, but even when they happen with the experience I now have is tough. The first thing I do is analyse what has gone wrong and why, what has caused this setback, either injury, a mechanical issue in a race, or a poor performance. Once I know what has gone wrong, and why, I can make a plan to overcome it. Writing it down and following the plan gives an actual method I can target to get over it and having a plan makes me feel more relaxed about overcoming the difficulties. I also remember the bad times which make the good times even better!

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Make sure you enjoy the training! It sounds simple and obvious, but I think people get caught up in doing training for training's sake and forget the bigger picture of why we do this, for FUN! Enjoying your training also means the quality will be higher, don't just do some training because you feel you 'have to'.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    I am competing in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, and I am competing in some qualifiers to hopefully represent Great Britain at the world and European AG championships.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from all sorts of different ways, but the one thing that inspires me most is looking how far I have come in my fitness journey, from not being able to run 100m to winning trophies, that encourages me more than anything.

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

    Sundried seem to approach sportswear from a different perspective than other manufactures. The ethics of how the apparel is produced is at the forefront, with a wider focus of ethics and the environment throughout all areas of our lives, Sundried are leading the way with regards to activewear.

    The Grande Casse Running Jacket is a great bit of kit, made 100% from recycled materials, and it packs away super small, so easy to carry out on a long run in changeable weather.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Xterra World Championships 2017

    Xterra cross triathlon off road World Champnionships

    Xterra is what happens when triathlon meets the wilderness. Think ocean swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but Sundried ambassador Rui Dolores made it to the coveted world championships. Here's how he got on.

    Maui, October 29, 2017

    The day starts early. The first move is to look out the window to check the weather. The weather has been very changeable recently but today the sky is clear and provides a day of sun and warmth.

    I have some breakfast, cycle to the start, and check out the water. It's choppy and hectic, which is just how I like it.

    The Swim

    After a chaotic start and being knocked around amongst the other competitors, I find my place in the group. The front-runners are strong and soon there are spaces between the groups. As I exit the water, I hear someone say that I'm in 25th position. Time to move.

    Xterra World Championships 2017 Sundried activewear

    The Bike

    In Xterra, the bike course is a hilly, muddy mountain bike trail with jumps and surprises at every turn. After an initial tough climb there were some sharp corners which required full concentration to avoid crashing. I start to gain positions but had to keep a steady pace so as not to lose control. There are long climbs and the Hawaiian heat is almost unbearable, but I continue pushing up the climbs.

    After passing my support crew, I'm filled with energy and positivity.

    The Run

    I start the run in 20th position which gives me hope that I'm not out of the race just yet.The first 6k of the course is mostly uphill. It is essential to get a good pace in the first half and I was feeling good. After a few inclines and declines, I had caught up with a few athletes ahead of me.

    mountain bike trail run off road cross triathlon

    There are fast sections followed by sections littered with tree roots that you have to navigate and jump over, before a final descent back down to the beach.

     

    I finished 13th overall which is great for my first Xterra World Championship. Thank you so much to Sundried for supporting me through this journey.
    Posted by Alexandra Parren