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Meet two-time Welsh record breaker Andrew Horsfall-Turner

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Andrew Horsfall-Turner broke his first Welsh record in 2021 in his first year of being a professional triathlete. Now he’s just broken the Welsh long distance record in his most recent challenge: Ironman Texas.

Andrew was a swimmer for the best part of 16 years growing up. He swam with the Swansea Aquatics whilst at Swansea University and did his final year swimming with the Swim Wales Performance Centre before ending his swimming career in 2015. He then went on to become a swim coach and during this process found himself having a lot of spare time between his regimented early and late swim sessions and wanting to do something active again. He started running at first but quickly got enticed by Ironman after stumbling across ‘Kona’ in 2017. In 2018, he decided to give triathlon a go himself.

Swansea Sprint Triathlon was Andrew’s first experience before throwing himself into his first half distance which was Ironman 70.3 in Weymouth. He recollects this as going “as you’d expect it to, a lot of things went wrong”. He explains that starting off as a swimmer, he was able to lead out the swim. “But then learning how much more there was to triathlon and getting passed by hundreds of people on the bike definitely made me go away and work super hard over the winter of 2018 into 2019”. And from here on, Andrew set his sights on racing professionally.

COVID hit and racing was out of the question. But at the beginning of 2021, Andrew was able to hit the criteria at Outlaw Half to become a professional. And a few weeks later he raced Outlaw Full where he broke the Welsh record for the first time. Andrew explains how racing professionally is like a completely different sport. He says, “there is a lot more to it in terms of dynamics”.

An Ironman when you do it on your own is a steady-state effort but in a professional event it’s very surgy. It’s very dependent on the people around you, the people behind you and the people in front of you.”

But he expresses how he feels that he’s starting to progress quite nicely. And looking at his performance in his latest venture: Ironman Texas, we’d have to agree. Andrew said he had realistic aspirations of finishing in the top 10-15 as it was a regional championship. But he had loftier goals of potentially getting a slot for the World Championships which would mean finishing in the top 5. He fell slightly short of that upper goal but still had an incredible performance. He led out the swim and found himself solo on the bike for the first hour. He was then caught by three men who he didn’t realise at the time but would go on to finish first, second and third. They rode together for the majority of the bike and split off at the end. Andrew admitted that his marathon was not where he expected or wanted it to be. But he kept his motivation going and broke the Welsh long distance record, knocking it from 8.26 to 8.12.

When it comes to future triathlon plans, Andrew is aiming to do a mix of local and international races this year. He will be racing in Challenge Wales in less than four weeks. Then he’ll be racing in Ironman Switzerland where he will be aiming to try and get on the podium. After that he’s looking at trying to do at least another 70.3. Before finishing the year with a final Ironman, potentially either Ironman Portugal or Ironman Florida.

Finally, when asked what gets Andrew through a race or race season he explains “I believe in discipline over motivation […] I think some people think that motivation will get them out of the door every day and get their sessions done but it’s discipline over motivation. And when I have those weeks where training gets super tough I think that this is the discipline side of it and when I rationalise it like that, I get it done

We wish Andrew all of the best in his upcoming races. And we’re looking forward to keeping track of and celebrating his achievements.

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