I am a final year medical student at Newcastle University, fell runner and Ironman triathlete. Nothing beats a good day out in the fells, and I will take any excuse to get into the hills, be it on my bike or for an run with some mates.
I have been competing in fell running and triathlon since my early teens, rapidly developing a love for races with that “epic factor” – that little touch of something special that just sets it apart from other races. Fell racing will always be my favourite – there is something great about rocking up to a village hall in the middle of nowhere and pinning a number on, then beasting each other up a hill before racing back down to the pub at the end!
I mostly seem to be good at falling off my bike – breaking an elbow and a collar bone in two separate crashes in the last two years, but when I manage to stay on it it is a close second to the fells! I have served as President of the Newcastle Uni Triathlon Club, and for some reason gained a bit of a reputation for engineering brutal Type 2 Fun (fun with the benefit of hindsight and post-session adrenaline/endorphins) “just a bit further” runs and rides through the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales…
Having spent a few years doing local sprint triathlons and fell racing, in 2014 I entered Helvellyn Triathlon – this remains the most Type 1 Fun (fun at the time!) race ever. The weather and my legs cooperated perfectly and I realised I was alright at this mountain running in combo with triathlon lark. The last few years have brought some good results for me. In 2015 I took second overall at Coniston Half Iron and then second in age group at Ironman Wales, qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
After my 2016 season was ruined by inconveniently breaking an elbow, I vowed to come back stronger and focussed my winter efforts on racing Triathlon X, loving the idea of combining the famous Fred Whitton bike loop with a jaunt up through Langdale (the site of many a childhood holiday!) to Scafell and back. I had a great day (50/50 type 1/2 fun!) and was absolutely chuffed to take second overall.
It was while training for the X I discovered Mountain Fuel. I have tried my fair share of nutrition products, and have had my fair share of nutrition-related issues. However, those are a thing of the past – there is not much to say about Mountain Fuel except that it simply works: everything that you need to perform at your best, Mountain Fuel gives you. It is a fantastic system that I wouldn’t have got round the X (and all the training leading up to it!) without!
I have a few big goals for the coming years: I should probably do something about passing my med school finals, but that has to be balanced with a return to some long course epic racing (sorry Dad!)…
There are a few bucket list races I would love to tick off in the coming years – and Celtman and Norseman have to be on the top of that list. However, I don’t think Triathlon X has quite finished with me yet, and a huge goal for the coming seasons will be to return and take that extra step up the podium!