British Triathlon Coach - Level 1 (Trainee)
My background was in water-sports / Surf Life Saving and where I spent a good number years providing safety cover at various races, and can remember thinking that one day I will give that a go. My first triathlon was at Cardiff "Tri a Try" in 2009 and later that year went on to the Olympic distance event at the London Triathlon. This lifesaving background probably accounts for my love of open-water swimming.
Reasons For Starting Coaching
I had some experience of coaching in the early days when Surf Life Saving was developing as a sport (Aussie Ironman). So with this background and as part of my job involves teaching it was going to happen at some point. I am a firm believer of putting back into something that has given me so much pleasure. The support I was given by the Club Coaches since joining Celtic Tri cannot be over stated, so it is an honour to now be part of this setup and give encouragement to all who wish to take part in triathlon or even just one of the disciplines regardless of their background.
Reasons For Starting Triathlon
For me this is simple and as like so my others who reach middle age — a health issue. As I said earlier I had seen some triathlons from the safety side, so the choice was simple. I knew that being on the large side it was going to be a long road. However the triathlon community is very supportive and I have never looked back. At the time I did not know of the Neuromuscular Condition which I live with and now makes me a "Challenged Triathlete" so even with this factor I plan to go on for many years. It is as much fun at the back as any other place in a race.
Biggest Triathlon Achievement
Again simple, the experience of crossing the finish line at Ironman Sweden (Kalmar) in 2013, and at this point I cannot say enough thank you's to the organisers for allowing me, even thou I was outside the 16 hour "lock down". I learnt so much about what I was capable of doing that day. This was a goal I had set and had fallen a few times in attempting to get to the target. Was it worth it — it sure was, so much so that as long as my condition allows I will do another and the plan is already in place to go back to Kalmar.
Other achievements have been in open-water swimming with the completion of a number of 10k swims, with a long term plan of one day completing a 25k swim.
Best Advice For New Triathletes
Just one word — "Believe" (there is a full poem that I was as a mantra based around this).
I often see or hear, I will be last, well over the years I have been last on more than one occasion, and probably will be in the future. If you remember that it's about "having a good time, not getting a good time". Don't be afraid to ask or take part, the support I have received over the years has been awesome, this has not only helped me achieve my goals but motivated me for an active lifestyle. I now have new ones as a Challenged Athlete and cannot think of a better group of people to be involved with in making these a reality.