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Bernard McCullagh - The Compass Ironman

We interviewed our very own Gharaffa PE Teacher, Mr Bernard McCullagh, who shared with us his journey in the world of triathlons, and how he prepares for them, particularly for the recent Ironman Triathlon that was held in Oman last month.

  • bernard mccullagh
  • bernard mccullagh
  • Bernard McCullagh
  • bernard mccullagh

When did you start competing in triathlons and why?

I’ve been competing in Triathlon for the past 10 years, prior to this I was swimming, cycling, and running, separately. It was only when a colleague of mine suggested I combine the three sports that I began participating in local triathlons.

 

What drew you to the Ironman triathlon?

I have been following Ironman races via Eurosport from a very young age and I remember being a child and thinking the concept was very ambitious, but that I would one day like to give it a go. The origins of the sports surfaced in Hawaii, when they decided to combine 3 events together and the sport of triathlon was born, the 3 events were a 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and 42.2km run.

 

What was the most challenging part of the triathlon and what was the most interesting or fun part?

During Oman 70.3 the race organizers were very aware of the rising temperature later in the day, so the swim was scheduled just on the cusp of sunrise, so we started the swim in almost complete darkness, which made sighting the swimming buoys quite challenging. The most interesting element was witnessing the beauty of Oman on the bike leg.

 

How do you fit training between work, social activities?

I train mostly after work each day, depending on the day. it will be a swim, bike, or run and some gym work. Weekends are usually dedicated to longer training sessions when I can fit them in. Usually around 10-15 hours per week, on a good week.

 

What advice would you give someone interested in competing in triathlon for the first time?

I would say it’s best to start out with a pool swim triathlon event, as open water swimming can be one of the most daunting aspects of triathlon. Training with a group can help and add a social element to your training, and most of all enjoy it.

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