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Mr October - Stu Lawn

How & Why did you get into triathlon? I had been working hard at my swimming and felt I needed a helping hand, so joined BTC to receive some coaching. Plus all I did up to then was running and yoga and wanted to improve after my first Tri in 2015 and hadn’t swam much from that up until joining.

What was your first triathlon?

I did Stradbroke Tri in May 2015 and upon starting training for it about 4 months before, I hadn’t swam for 22 years!!! I did it; but swallowed lots of water. I was very chuffed to have finished. What is your favourite discipline?

Running definitely! Although I actually enjoy swimming nowadays.

Greatest achievement date? Any proud pb’s? Running wise, would be completing Kings Forest 50k Trail Ultra Marathon in 2015 in 6hrs 36mins. Cramp every time I changed gear driving home was momentous! Haha But, overall swimming is my greatest achievement. As mentioned above, after 22 years of no swimming I tackled overcoming this challenge. On joining BTC in Sept 2016, I struggled to swim two lengths of Harleston 23m pool. Often swallowing too much water and panicking. But by spring 2017 I was having a go in Fritton Lake and it was addictive. This was particularly satisfying as I battled my high anxiety and mental health problems to get out there. It took courage, determination and worrying! Haha but especially with the encouragement and support of great friends and members Jo Fisk, Beth Bell, Mark and Helen Regan and Darren Potter, I got in there. Even if I did put my wetsuit on back to front with nerves!!! Best, worst and funniest race moments. Best by far was running the London Marathon in 2014 and finished in 4hrs 23mins. Still my PB! And was quite emotional. Worst by far, was the Great North Run in 2016. I suffered in the heat, and forgot my cap and suncream - which was stupid considering I am bald. Spent 10mins in a first aid tent after 6 miles and finished in 2hrs 37mins - Personal Worst. I did help a collapsed runner off the road a mile from the finish and elevated their legs on the ground until medics arrived to take over so I could finish.

Where do I start with on the funniest!? I am so clumsy. Funniest has to be Heveningham Hall XC. There were lots of shallow muddy pools with slippery mud around them and I ran through the puddles as it was less slippery. However the last one was deep and I went down face first and it was VERY cold! Marcus Nichols who saw this said he stopped running as he was laughing so much. Close second would be Stradbroke Triathlon in 2017. I got confused by a road sign in a side road at Horham warning drivers of the event cyclists. I mistook this as where I had to go. Having turned in, I realised I was wrong so turned around. I went to set off from the verge but was in too high a gear and fell over sideways still clipped into pedals. I unclipped my shoes laying on my side on the verge. Who motivates/inspires you? I love reading and hearing the achievements and race results of our members. It’s great to hear everyone’s goals and motivations and the buzz they get out of it. Even if some cycling jargon for parts of bikes goes over my head. Also anyone that gives something new a go is inspiring. It inspires me to keep plugging away, especially my swimming.

Describe a typical training week. Yoga or swim on Mondays Run Tuesday Rest/strengthening Wednesday Run Thursday Rest Friday Run over weekend Don’t cycle much as I am really unconfident on the bike and had a panic attack on the A143 last time out when a large tractor overtook too close. Any special pre-race routines? Main one is to make an equipment list so I don’t forget anything. Races on the agenda, and future ambitions I have St Eds half marathon on Oct 28 as my next immediate event. Not sure about triathlons at this stage given my cycling lows. I will aim to do Great East Swim Mile distance next year, having missed this year’s with an arm injury.

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