With less than five months to go until the new Para Tri Series holds its first event, we speak to ambassador and star British Paralympian David Weir about his paratri debut, and his search for teammates.
So you are taking on your first triathlon, which is a bit of a departure for you. Why have you decided to get involved in Para Tri?
I was over the moon when I heard about Para Tri. At last there is a mass-participation sports event dedicated to people with disabilities. Anyone who considers themselves to have a disability – any disability – can join in and have a go.
You don’t have to be elite. My main focus is still the marathon and Rio 2016, but we also need events like this that encourage people to come together and have fun with sport.
What is your least favourite triathlon discipline?
Let’s just say swimming isn’t my strongest sport… but that is what’s great about Para Tri. There are two relay races that allow those who can’t or don’t want to do every stage to join forces with friends, family and colleagues. Anyone can enter the relays as long as there is at least one person with a disability per team.
We hear you’re launching a competition. Tell us about it.
I’ve signed up for the entry-level Sprint Para Tri Relay – 150m swim, 3k cycle/push, 1k run/push – and I’m looking for two relay partners to complete my team. I’m after great team spirit, rather than top speeds. Para Tri isn’t about winning medals, it’s about getting active and enjoying yourself.
Anyone who signs up for a Para Tri race before 30 April 2015 can enter the competition. All they have to do is go on to www.paratri.com to tell me their story and why they think they should be on my team. The two chosen winners will join me on the day.
What top tips would you give to someone doing an event like this for the first time?
Find a sport you enjoy as it’s easier to train for something you look forward to. Secondly, set achievable targets. No one likes to fail! Also, it always helps to find a friend to train with – it’s great for motivation. And lastly, always reward yourself for your training achievements, however small.
For more information on the Para Tri Series and to register, head to www.paratri.com