Yiannis Christodoulou Triathlonbox Ambassador
The first of our 2016 Triathlonbox Ambassadors to talk you through the process of becoming an Age Grouper in the British Triathlon team. An achievable goal with 1/3 of the Triathlonbox team having competed at the highest level with another 1/3 pushing hard in 2016 to achieve this amazing goal. Over to you Yiannis, how have you achieved this amazing goal?
My Name is Yiannis Christodoulou and I am 32 years old. In February 2016, I qualified for the ETU European 2016 Auqathlon Championship at Châteauroux, France.
I started swimming 5 years ago and running 3 years ago. I would run 4 times a week and swim 3 times a week. In 2014, I was in the process of purchasing a house and in 2015 getting married to my wife. I ended up buying a new carbon fibre road bike so I could compete at a better level at triathlons as my old bike wasn’t carbon and was too slow. I then quickly realised I would struggle to train for a triathlon as our wedding was in June 2015, so I decided to miss triathlons for the year. I will be training for triathlons again this year.
Following the honeymoon, in August 2015 I saw there was a local aquathon, so I decided to give it a go. I was very jet lagged and had not swam for nearly three weeks. I managed to finish in 8th position for the swim. Overall I gained 5th place and was 1st in my age category. I was happy with my performance so I planned some further races and looked to getting quicker; at this point representing GB wasn’t in my mind.
How to become a British Age grouper
A month later I went back to the same event (which is run monthly during the summer) and managed to knock 2 and half minutes off my last time. I was 3rd overall and 1st in my age category. I was really happy with my performance and on the drive home a fellow competitor told me to look into racing for GB; so I did. My next race was the Hackney Splash and Dash London league race in September 2015. As it was September it was the first time I had to use my Wetsuit. Luckily, I tried it on a few days before and found that the cord for the zip was not there. I had to make do with a shoe lace; looked awful but it worked. So for me using a wetsuit was unknown territory. I proceeded in the race and somehow came out the water 1st a few seconds in front of the person who went on to win the race. I was really dizzy and in transition thought I was going to faint.
I somehow managed to get my wetsuit off and running shoes on with my wife and competitors asking if I was alright. By this time I had dropped places, I then attacked the run as hard as I could and was catching people and passing them. It was difficult to know who you were racing as it was mile loops, but I knew who the leader was. Again I couldn’t quite catch him but if I was a few seconds quicker in transition I could have won. I finished 2nd and was 1st in my age category. When I received my time it was quicker by another minute and this time I knew I could qualify for the GB squad.
Patiently, I waited for British Tri to put on their website the application process. I submitted my application but wasn’t a 100% sure; I knew I could beat other GB athletes in different age groups in my races so although I was told I would be in I wanted to see the confirmation. When the confirmation came through I was so happy and shaking that a dream of mine had come true. I don’t care if I come last, I shall enjoy the moment and hopefully I can be there again next year!
Big thank you Yiannis Christodoulou for this insight in to qualifying for Age Group triathlon status. We will keep you updated with how Triathlonbox helps Yiannis Christodoulou become more race ready thanks to Triathlonbox unique design.