The first Knutter I will focus on is Clive Reading. Clive is fairly new to triathlon, his first being only in May 2011. Clive is at a wonderful age to take part in triathlons. He is 66. Clive hasn’t let this stop him and he qualified earlier this year to represent Great Britain for his age group at the World Triathlon Championships in New Zealand.
Before we get to his aims for the World Championships, I asked him a few questions on his triathlon history and sporting history to get an insight into how he got into the sport:
Q. Did you come from a sporting background before taking up triathlon?
A. “My parents were sporty in their younger days, one sister was a county runner, my son is a
talented sportsman and my youngest daughter is a good runner.”
“I’ve done almost every sport. I played competitive football until I was 50, I played league hockey for a couple of years, I was in a squash league until I ruptured an Achilles, I used to run a lot, I was a good rugby player at school, I did triple jump at the school county championships and was in a really good school cross country team. Oh, and I played in a midnight 10 pin bowling league at 17. I had my last road bike from 14-18 years – a fabulous Claude Butler – and rode from Coventry to Cornwall twice. I’ve always swum, but only breast stroke before this year and I’ve got to gyms intermittently.”
Wow, Clive definitely has a thorough sporting past! I guess it takes some longer than others to find the best sport that is triathlon! Clive certainly shows that no matter what age you are, you can do exercise and even compete at a world level!
So, onto triathlon matters:
Q. What first attracted you to competing in triathlon?
A. “I did the Edinburgh Marathon for charity in 2010 and at the end of my report I put, ‘What Next’. My wife Sian flippantly said ‘Triathlon’. Little did she know!”
Indeed, it is often the case that when you complete your first triathlon, you immediately look for your next and before you know it, you are addicted!
Q. When was your first triathlon and how did you find it?
A. “May 2011 – Wilmslow. This was pool based sprint and I swam breast stroke and rode a mountain bike. I loved it and went and bought my first road bike in 45 years. Then did the Liverpool (swim in the King’s Dock) Sprint Tri. I loved it even more.”
The proof is in the pudding. After thoroughly enjoying Wilmslow Tri, Clive soon took part in another sprint at Liverpool. An open water race at that!
Q. What is you most and least favourite parts of triathlon?
A. “I love the bike totally and after learning front crawl and cracking open water swimming I love that too and am improving. Because of various injuries my running is a problem, but I hope to get back to where I was 2 years ago, which was better than now”
Not long ago, Clive was unable to swim front crawl. The swim is often the most daunting section of a triathlon for those new to the sport. A lot of triathletes come from a cycling or running background and find the swim very hard. Clive has put massive amounts of effort into working on his front crawl technique and stamina. It has paid off and he is seeing continuing improvements in the pool and in open water! It just shows what dedication Clive has put into triathlon. Keep it up!
Q. Why did you choose to join KTC and what do you enjoy most about the club?
A. “After doing 2 or 3 triathlons I became aware that there were Tri Clubs and KTC seemed to be the nearest. I was rather embarrassed to make contact, in view of my age, but the email reply I got from Robin was unbelievably welcoming and I will never forget it. I soon discovered that KTC had 100 members just as generous, encouraging and competitive as Robin. I enjoy the competitiveness, the banter (I missed it when I gave up football), the encouragement, the structured training, the coaching, the good friends I’ve made – everything.”
KTC has gone from strength to strength in the last few years with fantastic sessions, coaches and support available. Clive’s response is a wonderful advert for the club! Oh, and Tri club banter will always be better than football banter, particularly if Robin and Guy “Rouge” are around!
So, onto the World Championships:
Q. What do you hope to achieve in New Zealand?
A. “I’m realistic, as there are some great triathletes even in my age group. I would like to do a PB and improve my running. Mostly, I don’t want to disgrace myself! Above all, of course, to enjoy it and soak it all up.”
Clive, you won’t disgrace yourself. You are a fantastic triathlete and will do very well! Chase them all down on the bike!
Q. After you return from the world championships, what are your aims over the winter period and looking ahead to 2013?
A. “To work hard all winter and, hopefully, be able to run a lot more after being injured for 4 months and unable to run last winter. I see a PT and she’s going to work me hard. I have a Computrainer bike turbo system and I will use that 4 or so times a week. I intend going to the Stockport 50m pool once a week. The ‘core’ session on a Monday is great and of course the coached swimming is terrific. I want to build up my strength and stamina.”
“I am determined to crack Bolton UK Ironman. This year I combined Ironman training with a lot of sprint / Olympic triathlons and it’s not realistic. So I will do the European Sprint in Turkey in June and maybe a couple of sprints before then, but otherwise, it’s going to be a serious Ironman attempt. I will make Rivington Pike my second home and get out into the hills whenever I can.”
“But I don’t want to lose sight of the enjoyment and the friendships. I try to put back into KTC if I can and would always be willing to do whatever I can to ensure that the fantastic success of the Club goes on. I am inspired by the determination and hard work of people like Pete Price, Paul S-J, Kate Peers, as well as the ‘elites’. And of course, the man himself, Jeff Fidler.”