Seamus Sheard is a young athlete who hasn't always been into sport. He tells Sundried how we went from not even being able to swim, to representing Great Britain at the World Triathlon Championships in 2016.
Have you always been into sport?
I was always sporty as a child, however not exactly skilled or the best but I gave it all a go. I especially enjoyed cycling because of the freedom it gave me. At secondary school I took up indoor rowing and that was where I started to look to challenge myself both physically and mentally. Not long after I took up cross-country running and haven't looked back.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
I saw a local duathlon advertised in the national trust handbook and decided to enter. It involved a 5km run, a 20 km bike, and a 2.5km run. It was perfect for my non swimming self. I loved it and started to look for other events. This meant triathlon and the scary bit… swimming. Having never learnt to swim properly this was my biggest obstacle but I managed to complete my 400m pool swim in a little over 12 minutes. 3 years on and I am now swimming sub 5.30 per 400m, nothing amazing but a significant improvement.
And your proudest achievement?
Representing Great Britain at the world triathlon champs in Mexico or becoming British duathlon champion for under 20s age group.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I haven't had any racing disasters as such (touch wood). However my toughest race was at the world championships in Mexico where the heat and humidity really got to me on the run and started playing mind games in my head. It was a real battle to get to the finish line.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Although it's rather cliché, I really go by the saying "control the controllables." Most setbacks are out of our control anyway so take a step back, breathe, and re-assess the situation and your goals with a fresh mind before planning your new path to overcome any setbacks
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Swimming isn't that bad! And just go for it because you never know how it's going to pan out. As a child I hated running and never once did I think I'd be representing GB age group triathlon team. But I gave it a go and fell in love with it. Now I can't imagine not running.
What are your goals for 2017?
This year I am hoping to qualify for the world triathlon championships in Rotterdam where I am looking for a top 10 age group finish. I am also competing in the Always Aim High series where I hope to win my age group.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I got a lot of my inspiration from Chrissie Wellington after reading her autobiography, "Life Without Limits". I think the late Mike Hall is also inspirational for how far he pushed himself and the limits of endurance racing.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I really like how Sundried care about not only sustainability of the environment but also its people too, while ensuring their clothing is of the highest quality. My favourite bit of kit is the pro tri-suit as it is really comfy to wear, especially during long races, without restricting movement. Also the fact that it is designed with UV-protection is great, being fair skinned and ginger!
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