Athlete of the month: Bill Rees

high5This month, we asked Bill Rees to tell us about his triathlon career.

Bill has been with GTC for three years and involved in triathlon for about five years. He is set to graduate to the next age group but currently races in Vintage (60-64).

In his younger days, Bill was a rugby player but he drifted from that sport and when, some 20 years ago, his mum told him he was getting fat he took up jogging. He started doing half marathons as an incentive to lose weight and become fitter  – and then progressed to triathlons.

Bill enjoys the challenge of triathlons. And he says: “Triathlons are much more fun that simply running. I like the combination of the three sport disciplines.

“I do wish I’d known ages ago that racing in age group European and world championships was possible for someone like me. I have enjoyed doing both worlds and Euros in the past year or so.”

Ask Bill what his favourite triathlon discipline is and he quips: “Carbo-loading.”

He adds: “Well, that’s what my wife Sue reckons! I think actually it’s cycling, although I enjoy all three sports when doing them individually.

“I find it difficult to enjoy running at the end of a tri race but when I get out on the bike around Eaglesham or in Provence it’s pretty cool.”

Bill has also seen his greatest improvements in cycling since he joined the club. He says: “I guess it’s not surprise really because I wasn’t a great cyclist to start with. As an example, in my first standard tri at Huntley I rode a 1.29 bike course. At Chicago in the ITU Standard Distance Age Group World Championships I did a 1:05, although it was a flat course and a bit short.”

Going to Chicago with the Irish team was one of Bill’s greatest triathlon achievements.

He says: “It wasn’t that I did well but getting the whole thing together was, with hindsight, quite a challenge. And there was such a buzz at the event.” On the day Bill finished in 39th in his age group in 2:36:17.

Bill  was born in Northern Ireland so he can qualify for both GB and Ireland. He says: “The system to qualify is much simpler if you are Irish but don’t live there. You don’t have to do any specific races, just submit your times.”

Bill generally prefers to race standard distance triathlons. He says: “I only have one speed, which is too slow for a sprint. And if I mention any longer events, Sue has promised to nail my feet to the floor.”

20x30-FFFF5732This season Bill has not had any major goals since competing in the ETU Standard Distance Age Groups European Champs in Lisbon in May. However, he is keen to score a PB at Lochore this month if possible. Next year he says he plans to race a bit more.

In the long-term he says he dreams of beating all the Brits in one age-group race. He adds: “It would be great to get a medal in an age group champs but there are some seriously good ex-pros out there. Unless there is a serial pile up about 10 minutes ahead of me, it just isn’t going to happen, even if I devote my life to triathlon.”

Bills triathlon top tips

Find a training group: It’s a lot more fun and helps you push yourself.

Do core work: It helps in all three disciplines and minimises injuries.

Get a top-quality support team: In my case, Sue.

Bill has one secret item of racing kit. He admits: “I wear race knicks! I know not everyone wears them. In fact, I know that because one of the clubs has a white panel on the lower back of their tri-suit. Why would they design that in?”

  • Is there anyone that you would like to see featured in our athlete of the month slot for September?