Multiple world and European champion paratriathlete Iain Dawson has first-hand experience of the benefits of taking part in swim, bike, run and, alongside his own training, he’s helping to introduce more people to multisport through a new monthly event in Suffolk.
Since making the switch to paratriathlon from para-cycling in 2009, a sport he represented Great Britain in at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Dawson has won world and European titles in triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon, and also broke the IRONMAN world record for a visually impaired athlete in 2019.
The PTVI paratriathlete is now working to get more people involved in swim, bike, run.
“As an athlete, I’ve probably achieved more than I thought I would because when I came into triathlon it was just for a challenge and to enjoy it, so there has been so much more success than perhaps I ever thought there would be,” Danson reflected.
“I’ve had a lot of help and support over the years to compete myself, from Jill, who has put a lot of time into it, the guides I’ve raced with, sponsors and other people, so we wanted to put something back into the sport and encourage others to get involved.”
Dawson and his wife Jill, who are the founders of event company ‘Can But Tri’, have worked with Triathlon England to set up a new monthly swim and run event in Stradbroke, where participants will be able to give swim and run a go in a fun and non-competitive environment.
GO TRI Local Stradbroke Aquathlon was held for the first time last month and, ahead of the next event on Monday (30 May), Dawson said: “When we heard about GO TRI Local we wanted to get involved and thought it was a great thing. With all the GO TRI Local events, the aim is for them to be regular and be held in a really relaxed, fun environment and I think that encourages people to get involved.
“The great thing about GO TRI Local is it has that flexibility for people to come along. They know there’s something happening more or less at the same time every month, same place, it’s low cost and they don’t even have to do the full distance that’s set out. They can do less number of lengths in the pool, they can do less number laps of the track for the run. It is very flexible and it’s about getting people down here and giving it a go.”
GO TRI Local Stradboke Aquathlon will take place at Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre every month, mostly on the last Monday of the month with registration from 6:15pm and the event start at 6:45pm, but some dates and times may vary throughout the year.
Participants can do as much or as little as they like with varying distances for different age groups, with the swim taking place in Stradbroke’s indoor pool and the run along the track around the sports field.
“We had some people come to the first event we did in Stradbroke last month and it was their first multisport event,” Dawson said after the inaugural event. “They were very nervous, but they have actually come away from it and straight away they signed up to Stradbroke Triathlon which we ran a couple of weeks ago.
“We’ve had great feedback as well with the event giving participants more confidence and people keen to do more which is fantastic to hear and I actually joined in to experience it myself. It’s good fun and everyone really enjoyed it.”
To find out more about GO TRI Local Stradbroke Aquathlon, including how to register, visit https://www.gotri.org/events/go-tri-local-stradbroke-aquathlon_13671