I’ve been racing triathlons now for 11years and happy to say still pulling PB’s in races (the latest being swim 52:52 and bike 4:45:03 at IM Barcelona).
Having had a break for 5 years from Ironmans I’m now back racing and fully motivated to qualify for a 4th Kona World Championships (and complete the quest to go under 9hrs in an IM race)!
Background of how I became a Triathlon Addict!
My Introduction to Triathlons
I was a late starter to Triathlons, only taking up the sport in May 2006 at the age of 33. Completely by chance some friends and I had decided one drunken evening to do the Aberdeen 10K. So off I went to the local Tri shop to buy some new trainers. (Mistake No.1) Whilst there I picked up a leaflet on the local council Triathlon Series and somebody suggested that I give it a go as I used to be a good swimmer. I agreed (Mistake No.2). The first event I did was a short triathlon (for Novices) which was a baptism of fire (Mistake No.3 was actually to take part). Heavy Rain, Hail, Sleet, Wind and Sun needless to say I loved it and was instantly hooked, also finished 4th overall which was a bit of a surprise! I should point out at this stage that the person who’s idea it was to do the 10K in the first place (my friends wife Nikki) was pregnant come the day of the race so didn’t even take part!
When I was younger (9-14) I swam competitively with my local swimming club (Prestwick Swimming Club) and won several races including the club championship one year. I can’t remember what year it was sometime around 1982. I never managed to break the minute for 100m freestyle and kept coming within 100th of a second, something I plan to correct at some point even if it means using a wetsuit to assist me to do it (still not got there 2017)! Then at the age of 14/15 I discovered dinghy sailing (and the odd drink that went with sailing) and decided it was far more sociable and less hard work than getting up at 5:30am every morning.
So the next 20years were spent devoted to sailing with a bit of Ski-ing, climbing, mountain biking, surfing and just about any other adrenaline sport that anybody suggested. During this time I amassed lots of trophies and amazing experiences and memories with my best mate John Aikman and younger brother Roy. The highlights of which were finishing 2nd in the UK Nationals, and 2nd in the UK Grand Prix for 18 Foot Skiffs (by 1 point), also finishing 16th and 19th at the World Championships held on Sydney harbour. I also spent some time sailing Musto Skiffs (a one man version of the 18).
However I started to only really enjoy the very windy days and when the racing became a real physical challenge to finish (Roy & John would say I just needed to stop doing the easy job of steering at the back of the boat!). I kind of knew it was time to try some other pursuit when I was out sailing at a regatta (last boat out) in 40knots and the rescue boats were circling me a telling me to go in as it was to dangerous (As I hoisted the spinnaker and headed of towards the rocks). One of the best sails of my life!
By this time I had completed a few triathlons and enjoyed the fact that you could push yourself to the limit and see what happens. I used to be told that I wasn’t trying hard enough as I’m not crawling over the finish line. Not happened yet but I have collapsed and ended up on a drip for 1 1/2 hrs so close. The rest is history now, or the future or a bit of both!