Shaun West: It all started with a GO TRI


Shaun first took up triathlon thanks to GO TRI at the age of 48, eighteen months later and he’s got his eyes set on representing the Great Britain Age-Group Team and getting his wife on a GO TRI start line too.

“Growing up I competed at county and English Schools level in athletics at age 17,” Shaun said. “Since then I’ve managed to stay fit thanks to the military’s physical exercise programme, but nothing to a competitive standard.”

Having been rushed to hospital in 2008 with a heart problem, Shaun had to stop physical exercise for six months and saw his weight increase as a result.

“I decided that I wanted to get back into exercise to lose weight and improve my fitness in line with the military programme,” he added. “Army fitness is great, however having a direct goal really helps me to focus on and target my training. I took part in a number of obstacle races as a way of keeping motivated to get fit, however decided I wanted to look for something different.

“I saw GO TRI as a unique and fun way to try a new sport that would challenge me. The first event I entered was really good and at a good price. It was nice to see that you didn’t need all the expensive equipment and fancy kit to start off and give it a go. There was a mix of people who’d done triathlon before and novices like me, with plenty of people on hand to offer support and advice which was super helpful.”

GO TRI is British Triathlon’s entry level programme that is designed to help people get into swim, bike, run in a relaxed and friendly way. Specifically designed for triathlon beginners, events are affordable and accessible, and are tailored to support you in taking your first steps in the sport.

Shaun continued: “I’ve found that since first taking up triathlon my overall cardio fitness has improved, and my core strength has gone up. Along with Army training, this has seen me become healthier and lose weight; but now triathlon has become about more than just that for me.”

“Since starting I’ve made some good friends and despite worries training would keep me away from my family, I’ve actually found that it’s helped in getting my wife back into fitness – but not into GO TRI yet.”

British Triathlon issue permits for events across a range of distances. GO TRI Events are usually a 200m swim, 10km bike and 3km run; setting participants achievable challenges to help introduce them to the triathlon. In addition to GO TRI, British Triathlon permitted events range in distance with opportunities for individuals to test themselves and go longer or continue to race at a distance they enjoy.

Reflecting on his triathlon journey, Shaun commented: “Since starting off with GO TRI, I’ve moved onto more challenging distances, but still take part in some GO TRI Events during the year. In 2020 I’m hoping to compete in as many triathlons as possible and will attempt to qualify to represent the Great Britain Age-Group Team. It’s a far cry from where I started in the sport a year and a half ago and it’s been an incredible journey.”

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