TIM FOWLER. AGE GROUP DUATHLETE AND
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a 53 year old prison Officer from the south Midlands area. I have been in the job 11 years, and was initially a fairly sedentary person, walking the dogs was the only real exercise that I took. Then a colleague dared me to compete in the Oxford half marathon that year, stating I was too old and fat to do it. I took a long look at myself, and had to agree. But instead of giving up, I started to run. Just a bit to begin with, slowly increasing the distance week by week, until I could do a park run without stopping.
My next goal was 10k, which I again slowly stepped up to. My first 10k race was a small village affair, very friendly. I completed this in a reasonable time, and later in the year headed out to Oxford for my first half marathon. I loved it, my fitness making me feel good about myself, healthier and a lot less stressed at work. The upshot was I beat home the workmate who dared me to do the race in the first place!
As I was race fit, I did another more hilly half that year, and this one gave me my love of hilly and challenging races. The Marlow half starts from my old school, so the memories came flooding back before the start. I was joined on this one by my younger brother, who had also just started running. We set off together, and stayed with each other for a while. This year, I got away from him to beat him by just over a minute. The next year, he was out for revenge, and got it!! He now runs in ultra-endurance races, taking a different path to my sporting endeavours.
Over the winter I purchased a road bike using the cycle to work scheme. I rode that thing in all weathers to work and home. My bike handling and fitness improved enough for me to enter a pool based triathlon that spring. A 400m swim, 20k bike and 5k run was what laid ahead of me. Easy yes? No, not at all! Put the 3 disciplines together, alongside transitions, and you have a pretty intense workout for the fledgling triathlete. I don’t recall the time I finished in, but a photo of me afterwards shows a very tired broken man! However, I loved the whole experience, and vowed to train harder and come back fitter. The rest of that summer was spent training and racing at sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. The highlight was getting placed in my age group at the pan flat Eaton Dorney, the lowest point was falling off my bike entering transition, right next to the next swim wave waiting to get in the water! I still have the scars, both mental and from the cut on my knee.
It was the following season that I stepped up to half iron distance, the brutal half in Snowdonia, and the Caderman in southern Snowdonia being 2 of my favourite races, as they both have mountain run sections. This year, it’s the snowman legend, another mountain run section!
I also began to take some age group wins in duathlon events. This led to me trying out for the British Triathlon Federation age group teams. I was able to qualify for the world championships in Spain in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the European championships 2016 and 2018. This has been a great deal of fun and great to put on your nations colours to race in.
I also race for the Prison Service duathlon and triathlon club, both as an individual and in team events, most recently at the Accenture mixed team relay event, where one of our teams took bronze.
I was asked by @Hashtag01 to be a brand ambassador this year, and regularly give twitter updates about my racing and training. I hope to expand on this with a regular blog for them in the future. Well, this was a long introduction!
My next effort will be more up to date racing and training news. I hope you will join me along the way.