What inspired you to try a triathlon?I was living in Clapham back in 2006, and chanced upon an ad on Gumtree from a guy trying to set up a new club (the soon to be defunct and rather optimistically titled ‘South London Tri Club’). The training sessions were pretty leisurely, and whilst they didn’t do much to set me up for my first swim session with CPT (read: nearly died), the social aspect gave me the incentive to enter my first race.
Member profile - Rob Parry
Where and when was your first triathlon? What was the distance?First race was the Tonbridge Triathlon in 2007: 400m pool swim; 20k bike and 5k run. I still remember the horrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I sat by the side of the pool waiting for my start time, which I now know of course is the shot of free drugs that most of us are in this game for if we’re honest! Almost got DQ’d for swearing when I couldn’t work out how to mount the bike in T1, but had a great day and won the novice trophy, and looking forward to returning this year for the club champs race.
Do you have a favourite race? Switzerland 70.3 has got to be up there: out and back swim in lake Zurich; a fast undulating bike course on billiard-table roads with the stunning backdrop of the mountains, and then a two-lapper through the beautiful town of Rapperswil-Jona.
My only M-Dot-branded race to date – well worth if only for being able to drool over all the euro-bling in transition.
Describe your first ever bike First bike I can remember owning was a He-Man BMX, complete with plastic sword and shield fitted to the handlebars. Was the most amazing thing I had ever seen on two wheels, until my mate got a Raleigh Wild Cat for his birthday that made laser-gun noises from a stem-mounted console. One of my earliest experiences of pure envy.
Where does your bike live? Two in the spare bedroom, one in the hallway, and two in the living room. Wouldn’t have any of my babies living outside. Reading that back, I think I should probably get rid of some bikes! Sorry – ridiculous thought – just need to work on being able to afford a bigger place of course.
One piece of advice you would give a triathlon newbieDon’t overdo it! I think amateur triathletes are often the worst offenders, as we all try to cram in three disciplines to an already packed life of work, family and friends, and end up leaving ourselves knackered and riddled with injury if we’re not careful. Choose races sparingly, and schedule lots of quality rest time into your training week.
Where's your favourite place to ride?Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town – the most stunning stretch of road I’ve ever experienced. I think I actually cried for joy the first time I rode down it (I’m only saying this for effect – I never cry). One of Lance’s favourite roads as well, apparently.
Do you have any pre-race rituals and meals? What are they?When I was younger I honestly thought that the trick was a good energising curry carb-fest washed down with beer the night before! These days it’s tuna and tomato pasta, electrolytes and tinkering with the bike before an early night clad in compression gear.
Favourite post-race drink/snack?Anything and everything from the race goody-bag, and then beer if the race went well (and more beer if it went badly).
Do you prefer to train alone or with a group?Love the group sessions, although do enjoy a good solo session on the bike on a sunny day if I’m training with the power meter and a plan.
What do you carry with you when you train?Not much – like to be as close as possible to race weight, plus Rules 29-31 of the Velominati state quite clearly that everything must be carried in your jersey pockets and not on the bike. Bike Training: Mobile; Credit Card; door key; £10 note; spare tube; gas canister; water bottle; banana. What more do you need?
Do you run to music? If so, what's your favourite?You can’t beat a bit of dubstep to get the blood pumping, although prefer listening to the sounds of nature when running off-road.
Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?Always shaved for a race. In fact, should probably list having a shave in a hot bath with scented candles and Marvin Gaye playing softly in the background as one of my pre-race rituals (or probably best to leave this out altogether…)
Ironman - Yes/No/Again?Aiming to do my first in 2013
Ironman tattoo - Yes/No/Where?I am partial to a tat or two, but still on the fence over the M-Dot branding. Saying that, I’m always impressed when I see one on others, so will have to see after next year.
What do you do in the real world, outside triathlon?Doing things in an Investment Bank that none of my family and very few of my friends care to understand.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?Chris McCormack because he’s one of the greatest mind-technicians in the sport; Eddie Izzard because he was one of my favourite comedians even before he became an endurance running superstar; and Kat Von D to help me work on designing my backpiece.
What are you currently reading?The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, just to see what it’s all about. Good way to clear the mind before bed.
What was the last film you saw?127 hours. Amazing film, with a great sequence halfway through where the main guy fantasises about having a cold drink – something I’m sure most of us can relate from at least one race or training session!
What’s next for you?Focussing on the qually events for Auckland with some London League action in-between.