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East Essex Triathlon Club

Mon 24th Aug 2020: East Essex Triathlon Club - Meet the Committee Interviews with Ian George

*How long have you been involved in Triathlons and what made you start?

I got in to swim, bike and run when I decided to enter the London triathlon on a whim after accidentally stumbling access their website. I had been going to the gym for a few years ironically doing spin classes and the occasional swim and had just taken up running when our Company started a lunchtime running group. This was in September 2003 and a few weeks later I joined East Essex and started swimming at Runnymede on a Monday evening.

*Of the three disciplines, do you have a favourite and are there any you have struggled with – if so, how did you overcome this?

Out of all the three disciplines I would say running is probably my favourite as you can run whatever the weather straight out of your front door. Running is also very sociable as it’s a great way to meet people, however nothing beats going out for a ride, exploring your local area and stopping for a coffee - especially when the sun is shining. Out of all the disciplines it took me a long time to become a half-decent cyclist.

*What are your goals for the year ahead?

Well 2020 has been an odd year for obvious reasons. My initial plan was to try and qualify for the 2021 Age Group World Champs at the Dambuster Triathlon in June, however this event has now been cancelled and I am still waiting to hear as to how we can qualify for World Champs in 2021. I had also entered Ironman Vittoria-Gasteriz but deferred this to 2021 because of Covid-19. It looks as though some events are now coming back on stream so just taking part in any multisport event in 2020 would be fantastic.

 *How do you fit training into your lifestyle (work/family commitments)?

I am very lucky that my Company has always actively encouraged their staff to get out and exercise at lunchtime so for the last 20 years I have either swam, biked or run probably 4 or 5 lunchtimes a week. When my kids were younger, I used to get up ridiculously early to ride my bike but these days I tend to do most of my cycling to or from work. The 35 mile commute to London is actually a lot better than you’d expect, especially after the London cycle super-highways were built, although going up Old Church Hill in Langdon Hills at the end of a long day can be tough. According to Strava I have ridden up Old Church Hill over 100 times.

*If you have competed in an event before, which has been your favourite?

Definitely the Ironman 70.3 in Monaco. One of the most spectacular events especially the run, which took in all the sights of Monaco and most of the F1 circuit going through the tunnel, past Rasscasse and the swimming pool back in to the Harbour and finally up the very steep hill to Casino Square and the Hotel de Paris. We had to run up that hill 4 times. Unfortunately, the event was discontinued around ten years ago which is such a shame.

 *Do you have any rituals or lucky items that you do/have prior to an event?

No not really, but I am very meticulous in regard to preparation and probably check my transition area at least four or five times.

 *What do you like about being part of East Essex Triathlon Club?

 It’s definitely the community sprint and the fact that whatever your level we all just try to have a good time. I think the club has a fantastic ethos when it comes to just encouraging each and every member whether you are first or last.

*Do you have any words of advice for anyone starting out in their triathlon journey?

Having trained and raced for nearly twenty years the best piece of advice I can give anyone is not to forget that we are doing this for fun. I often hear people say that every training session has to be specific and done for a reason but if you focus too hard too often, you just get bored and disillusioned with the sport. Sometimes you just have to swim, bike or run how you feel on the day.