Meet the Team - Alan Murchison

Published:

The Summer racing season for the Great Britain Age-Group Team gets underway this weekend with the Horst ETU Duathlon European Championships. With less than a week to go, British Triathlon spoke to defending sprint distance Champion Alan Murchison about his medal prospects.

Alan Murchison
42 years old
Defending M40-44 European Sprint Duathlon Champion
Day job: Michelin-starred chef
 
Alan is returning to Horst to defend the M40-44 European Sprint Duathlon title he won there last year and he is in confident mood after a successful start to his season. "I raced the British Elite Duathlon Championships at the weekend and I went really well," he says. 
 
Considering the Michelin-starred chef entered his first duathlon only in 2012, his success is all the more impressive. However, his pedigree as a runner includes a sub-30 minute 10K for Scotland at under-23 level so it should not come as a surprise. Work commitments led Alan away from competing for 15 years and when he signed up for the Cambridge Duathlon in 2012, it was more for fun than anything else, so he was rather surprised to come second in his age group and qualify for that year's ITU World Sprint Duathlon Championships in Nancy.
 
Since then his talent has become obvious and he now fits 13-15 hours of training around working 60 hours or more per week. He is supported by the 2011 ITU World Duathlon champion Katie Hewison, a partnership that yielded the 2013 World and European M40-44 Sprint Duathlon titles but Alan is not just aiming to win his age group at Horst this year. "I'm quite confident I'm going to win my age group," he says. 
 
"Last year I won my age group and I was fifth overall, but this year I'm going to try to win the race outright. I think my form is possibly good enough for that. It's easy to become comfortable in your age group but I think you should constantly try to measure yourself against the best, regardless of age group."
 
"I'm ahead of where I was last year with regards to the numbers I'm hitting in training. As soon as I had the date for Horst I had it in my diary and I've been working towards it for six months. I'm looking forward to it and I'm very positive that I'll be in a strong position in the race." 
 
As well as tailoring his training with Horst in mind, Alan is meticulous in his preparation for the course itself. "I like to travel to the race a good 24 hours before everyone else," he says. "When you're doing a recce on a bike course, if there's hundreds of athletes on it you can't really cycle the critical parts at race pace. So I'll arrive on Thursday and do a good recce on Friday. I think there are more than 20 90-degree corners so if you haven't ridden it and done your homework you can lose a lot of time.
 
"The only thing that's changed from last year is they've changed the bike course from two 10km loops to one of 20km. I really liked the route last year because you came through the town centre twice on your bike, which was fantastic. When you are racing down the high street the noise is great and with the transition in the middle of town it's just such a fantastic atmosphere to race in."
 

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