British long-course pro Tom Lowe has retired from triathlon, saying that the drive to be the best he can be and comply with a strict training regime has “started to peter out”.
“To be a successful athlete you need to be committed in both mind and body,” he writes on his blog. “The day before last year’s 70.3 Pescara in Italy, while recceing the bike course on a pleasant summer morning, I cruised up a lovely climb and passed through a quaint village. There was a small amount of hustle and bustle with the locals buying their daily fare, the huge cured legs of prosciutto ham hung in the window of the delicatessen, the ritualistic hit of espresso to get the day started was being honoured and I could smell the warm, fresh bread from the bakers next door.
“I wanted to stop, partake in the culinary delights for 10 minutes, get back on my bike (which, while sipping my coffee, would have miraculously changed from a TT bike into a light climbing steed) and ride for another three or four hours with the sun on my back and friends by my side. For some reason my head wasn’t focused on the race the next day. Unsurprisingly, I had a poor result.”
Realising that this feeling was “not a one-off” last year, Lowe finished 2014 with silver at Ironman Florida and took the chance to think carefully about what he wants to do. “The upshot is that I’ve decided to move on from professional triathlon and carve out a new path. It hasn’t been an easy decision but I’ve sought advice from friends and family and most importantly listened to what my mind is telling me.”
It’s been an amazing journey but it’s time for new adventures. Thank you so much for your support, Tom. http://t.co/opgIjhwhxe
— Tom Lowe (@tomalowe) January 20, 2015
Lowe – whose fiancée Chrissie Wellington is Britain’s most successful Ironman athlete ever – has enjoyed a decade-long career that has seen him pick up wins at the National Elite Duathlon Championships (2006), Ironman 70.3 Muskoka (2012) and Challenge Henley (2013). He also posted the second fastest (to date) British iron-distance time of 8:07:50 at Challenge Barcelona in 2013, and placed 5th at Ironman New Zealand last year.
He becomes the third high-profile pro to retire from triathlon already this year, following similar announcements from British elite Catriona Morrison and New Zealand’s Olympic silver medallist Bevan Docherty.
Signing off, he writes: “I’m not sure what the future will hold as yet but the unknown is also very exciting. I’ll take all of the memories, skills and experience that I’ve gained and developed within triathlon into the next chapter of my life.
“I’d like to thank everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last five years. I will miss it, but leaving the sport now feels absolutely the right thing to do.”