Meet The Committee

Alex Harris

Chair

My past sporting adventures have centred mainly around running and weight training; triathlon hasn’t even been a blip on my radar. A friend of mine completed Ironman Lanzarote in 2021 and It piqued my interest. Not one to do things half hearted, I decided in August 2021 to sign up to Ironman Lanzarote myself and see if it was possible to train for it within 9 months. 

In terms of my background - I could only run! I’d never sat on a road bike and I was never taught front crawl at school. The bike part wasn’t a massive concern for me but the swimming was!! I was too scared to join a club as I was embarrassed I’d hold people up. After a month of self teaching, I started scouring the net for local clubs as I was struggling to motivate myself and progress was slow…… I found Swindon triathlon club and took advantage of the trial option that was available. I must confess that after spending lockdown working from home, I was overwhelmed at the thought of being in a club full of people on that first session but in hindsight, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The club has some fantastic coaching, it’s full of like minded people so you have a common ground, it’s an opportunity to make great friends and adds an element of competitiveness to training which can only aid in performance improvements. 

At the time of writing, I still haven’t completed a triathlon yet but for any newbies out there who are ready to throw down the gauntlet and get into Tri’s in a similar fashion to me, I would be glad to share my experiences and help you on your journey 💪🏻

Vince Knight

Treasurer

I have always been reasonably fit but at the grand age of 39 was asked to compete in a sprint triathlon.
At first, I was not interested because I had not been running for approximately 20 years and could only swim breaststroke. But nevertheless, I took up the challenge.

I started running 3K twice a week and at first went to the local pool to improve my swimming. I then decided to join the Swindon triathlon club.

The swimming coaching is outstanding, and I enjoy the Thursday night swims even though I am still one of the slowest swimmers.

The coaches have improved my stroke and fitness over the years and members have encouraged me to push myself each year.

In 2019 I completed my first Ironman in Wales in a very respectable 12hour 14mins.

Andy Jarvis

Membership Secretary

After being a keen runner and gym goer for many years, I wanted to try cycling and triathlon after watching the London 2012 Olympics. I finally took the plunge in 2014 when my friend suggested that I sign up for Challenge Weymouth (half iron distance). I didn’t need much encouragement.
One bike later and several hundred pounds spent, I had myself a bike, some strange skin tight lycra mankini and lots of swimming toys. I learnt how to use cleats and cycle, had swimming lessons and found myself completing my first half iron distance event within a year.

I realised I was a sucker for punishment and was hooked.

This year you will find me training for my first iron distance race in Copenhagen, the half outlaw event and the white horse challenge to name a few. But it is my love for training and helping others that got me into get involved with the Swindon Tri club 2 years ago. I love training, meeting new people and encouraging others to take the plunge. If I can do it, anyone can.

Kurt Clarence

Club Secretary

As long as I can remember I have been into sports, I played football and county level tennis in my youth and have graduated with a sports degree from the university of Lincoln. 

An avid cyclist for the past 7 years, I got into cycling on the promise of coffee and cake and never looked back. 

Since then I have completed numerous sportif’s and enjoy cycling round the south of France. 

Completing an Ironman has always been a goal of mine, so when the first lock down hit and I could no longer go to the gym, I decided it was time to train for it, I started running that January and never looked back, joining the club in the April. 

Joining the club was the best decision, it has improved my performance whilst making great friends along the way. 

Now as newly appointed club secretary I hope to help anyone looking to start or improve performance find their way, as I know you’ll love it as much as we in the club do. 

Stuart Foster

Head Coach

Stuart has been coaching with the Tri Club for some time as well as being a swim coach, we are excited to announce that as of 2022 he has taken over the role as our Head Coach.

Holly Willis

Welfare

I jumped straight into the Triathlon deep end and entered Ironman Wales in 2014. I thought I would do triathlon for a year, tick off an Ironman and move on – how wrong I was! I have since completed 5 Ironman races and countless 70.3’s, qualified for Kona and become hooked on the sport.

When I first moved to Swindon in 2013 I didn’t know anyone, but through joining the club I quickly gained a huge group of new friends and training partners. The group sessions are great motivators, and the coaches provide such a great level of support, knowledge and encouragement – inspiring me to complete my Level 1 coaching qualification in 2021!

You can contact Holly for any welfare issues at mailto:hg240@hotmail.co.uk

Ellie Hains

Social

I completed my first triathlon in 2016, a local sprint distance, and won the Vet category - I was addicted!!  Since then I have competed as a GB Age Grouper racing at Middle Distance (half iron).

I joined the Swindon Triathlon Cub in 2017 and have loved being a part of the club and recently became the social secretary - I haven't had a great deal to do as shortly after taking on the role COVID hit!  But now restrictions are lifting I guess I will start having to do something!!

Graham Smedley

Website

I did my first triathlon in 2005 in London.  An Olympic Distance race that was, at the time, the longest I had ever exercised in one go in my life.  Although slow I found I enjoyed finishing. After a few half iron distance races, one of which I finished dead last (and by a long way), I fell into ultra triathlon.  My first race was a Double iron, then a Triple and I followed that with Quin.  I then got quite good for a couple of years and won a Triple and a 1 a day Double before being able to finish a 1 a day Deca (10 irons in 10 days).  My last race was a failed attempt at the Continuous Deca in 2019 - 90 miles from the finish - so that is unfinished business!

Chris Hanley

Committee Member
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