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From not knowing what triathlon is to completing every UK and Ireland Ironman, here's Chris's story...


Years ago, Chris didn’t even know what triathlon was. Now, he’s completed British Triathlon’s High Performing Coach Programme, he’s teaching other people about triathlon and he’s completing every UK and Ireland Ironman this year for charity (Rock2RecoveryUK). Read how Chris did all of this below.


Background / Growing Up

Chris had a very sporty background growing up. He says how he was “thrown into a little bit of everything”. He did mostly team sports such as football, rugby, cricket and baseball. But he also did a lot of athletics such as 100/200m sprints, long jump, high jump and triple jump which he puts down to being quite tall. The only other solo sport he recalls doing is swimming. As well as throwing himself into various sports, Chris was also a part of scouts and air cadets.


Getting into triathlon

Chris was working in a commercial gym when someone came up to him and asked if he could write them a triathlon training plan. Chris admits that at that moment he knew nothing about triathlon. But he told the person to give him two weeks, he’ll read some books and write them a plan. In those two weeks Chris had another five people come up and ask him for this triathlon plan. Also in that two week period, Chris travelled down to West Wales to see his family. At the same time, Ironman Wales happened to be on. When he walked into the town centre, they were on the run section. Chris says he saw this giant guy, taller than his six foot five self, running next to this tiny old lady who he later found out was seventy four years old. And Chris says how he was just amazed by it all. He went home and Googled Ironman and became obsessed.

He explained that at that time his university lecturer had said “do you want to be the type of coach that walks the walk or talks the talk?” and Chris was searching for that one thing that he could ‘walk the walk’ in. After discovering Ironman and the sport of triathlon, Chris thought ‘this is it’. He’s gone on to complete the High Performing Coach Programme in Loughborough with British Triathlon, he’s finished university and completed multiple Ironmen. He’s also encouraged masses of people to try triathlon through the passion that he has for it.


2023 Plans

Every year Chris picks a charity to help and this year he found Rock2RecoveryUK on Instagram. He says that Rock2RecoveryUK “helps serving personnel, ex personnel, anyone in the armed forces but also the 999 emergency services community. And I think, for me, it’s really important because I have such admiration for those people who do those kind of jobs and serve our communities for the greater good. I wanted to help those who help us”. Chris connected with this charity and told them about his crazy idea to complete all of the UK and Ireland Ironmen races in 2023. He spoke to Ironman who told him that no one had done this before which encouraged Chris even more. So, he sorted out all of the race entrances and got himself booked onto all of them.

So, in less than two weeks’ time, Chris will be competing in his first Ironman 70.3 which is in Staffordshire. It’ll be his second time there. Last time he was cheering along and this time he’ll be racing. Four weeks later, he’ll be going to Ironman Bolton. Two weeks after that it’s Ironman 70.3 in Swansea which Chris says “if it’s anything like last year it will be a beautiful race”. A month later, he’ll be heading to Ireland and doing the 70.3 on the Saturday and the full Ironman Cork on the Sunday. Two weeks later he’ll be completing the Ironman in Tenby which he says may be the toughest because of fatigue. And two weeks after that will be his final one in Weymouth.

Chris says he’s really looking forward to this journey because, for him, he’s doing his best for this charity. But also because it’s about making people believe that anything is possible regardless of time or ability. And it’s important for athletes to see that from him as a coach.


Biggest support so far

Chris names his partner, his three little kids, his friends and his clients as his biggest supporters. His said his partner has been the person that has really stood by him through all the times he’s doubted himself. He says “Because I am quite ambitious, as you can imagine. Sometimes I can bite off more than I can chew and sometimes when I’m in it, I’m regretting my choices. But she’s the one who is kind of holding up the fort, if you will. When I’m off training, she’s the one there that’s really picking me back up when I’ve fallen or if I’m struggling mentally”.

He says from a client perspective, he reverts back to that quote that his lecturer says all those years ago ‘what type of coach do I want to be?’ and he says “I want to be the one who shows you an honest reflection. And that’s why I’m sharing this journey on social media, through Youtube videos. The whole perspective and not just the ‘oh look at me. These are my race times. Look how good I am’. I want to show the highs and the lows. Because I think through lockdown and the pandemic, a lot of us struggled with our mental health. And a lot of us get shown through the glamour of social media that everyone else’s lives are better than ours. And I think, if I’m raising money for a mental health charity its incredibly important for me to touch upon mental health and show that it is a massive perspective on not only your overall health but in regards to the actual physical performance of your races as well.”

Chris explains that his kids have been a part of the journey since he started it. They come and watch him at every race and he says this is where his partner comes to life. He says “she makes all these amazing hand held banners for the kids […] they have the little horns, the little cow bells, their signs that the athletes are ‘tapping for energy’, ‘tapping to level up’ and stuff like that”. He explains how they go to the kids’ races the day before. And on those days it’s all about them. “It’s not my race, it’s about them doing their best and feeling like they’re a part of this journey and community as well”.


Chris believes that everyone should do an Ironman in their life. He said building up to his first one, he thought ‘the moment I cross that finish line, I can do anything that I want in life’ and he said he truly believed it. And now, he doesn’t hold back on anything anymore. He finishes by saying “in life, we only ever fail when we really want to do something and we give up because of our fears and insecurities […] even if you get to the point where you realise it’s no longer for you. I think it’s important that that isn’t a failure. That is just you realising that ‘okay, I’ve tried this and it wasn’t for me so I’m going to change direction now’. And I think if more people realised that and more people were more open and honest about their experiences, I think people would be a little bit kinder to themselves.”

We’re so excited to follow Chris’s journey this year and to see what he achieves! If you also want to follow his journey, the link to his YouTube channel is down below. We’ve also included the link to Chris’s donation page, if you want to help raise money for Rock2RecoveryUK.

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