Meet James: off to Dusseldorf to compete for Team GB in triathlon team

Travel Republic James Ratcliffe-Dusseldorf triathlon Team GBIt is no surprise, that everyone at Travel Republic enjoys visiting new places, taking in the sights and trying something new, but not all of us do this from the comfort of a sun lounger.

For James Ratcliffe, part of Travel Republic’s IT team, his idea of a perfect getaway involves water, a long stretch of road and two wheels. This weekend, James will travel to Dusseldorf to compete as part of the Great British Triathlon team, in the ETU European Sprint Triathlon, which will consist of a 270m Swim, 20k Bike ride and a 5k run.

Before his big race, we sat down with James for a quick Q&A to learn more about his training and his journey onto the Great British Triathlon team.

How did you qualify for the GB triathlon team?

To get selected for the team you need to compete in one of the qualifying events and finish within the top tier in both time and position.

The race I took part in was in Nottingham in 2016, in the age category 50-55 – I personally didn’t have a great race, but somehow that was enough to achieve one of the last selection spots.

How did you get into competing in triathlons?

I started triathlon training just over two years ago, after a few friends wanted me to get involved in starting a local Triathlon Club.  As someone who loves to train, adding swimming and cycling to the running I already did sounded like a good idea. Little was I to know how much time this takes up.

Do you remember your first race?

A friend pulled out of a small local race on Saturday afternoon and offered his place to race the next day. Despite no real swim or bike experience and no idea about the transition I ended up coming 4th. My friends still laugh about the kids chair I took into transition to put my socks and shoes on after the swim. Not the fastest transition ever, but I was comfortable.

What is your training philosophy?

Make every session hard and fast” – I‘m not good at having an easy session and I love the feeling of  tired muscles and the training high after a hard block of training.

Do you have any advice for people considering a triathlon?

Have a go and give it a Tri – it’s fun” – You don’t need to be super fit or spend a lot of money to take part.  Competitors can be seen on Bromptons, Shopping bikes and I have even seen someone racing on a Boris Bike.  People of all sizes, shapes and ability take part in races every weekend, and every one of them, I have seen have come across the finishing line with a big smile.

Stay tuned for updates from James on exploring Dusseldorf and his first competition as part of the Great British Triathlon Team.