GTC athlete of the month: David Hepburn

David Hepburn joined the club around 18 months ago as a way to improve his 10k PB. Since then he has found a passion for duathlons and recently competed in the Pontevedra ITU Age Group Sprint Duathlon World Championships.

David joins GTC

It was after a change of job in 2016 that David, a mechanical engineer within the wind renewables industry, found himself working away from home a lot. Spending a lot of time in hotels, he decided that running would be his best way to break the monotony this style of life.

He then entered the Glasgow 10k in 2017 and ran it in an impressive time of 40.41. David said: “My time was much better than I was expecting. After that I wanted to join a club to get some advice and coaching to achieve a sub 40-minute 10K and, being a cyclist already, GTC seemed the perfect choice.”

He added:“When I joined the club I used to just cycle and run as a way to keep fit and to enjoy the outdoors but since I’ve started racing I am really enjoying the competitive aspect of it all.”

Sport at school and uni

David’s sporting background includes playing football to what he calls a “reasonable level” at school. He said: “I played with Hamilton Accies and the Glasgow Schools team.

“Then, at university, I started mountain biking after being inspired by the first Danny MacAskill video. Although, it didn’t take me long to realise I was much better at going up hills than fast down, so decided to give road cycling a go.

“I also did a bit of running for general fitness and completed a few 10k adventure races but gave that up due to a knee injury.”

Hooked on duathlon

David, who competes in the senior (25 to 29) age category, is yet to do a triathlon although he is a keen duathlete.

He said: “I guess it’s a bit embarrassing that I’ve still not actually done a triathlon, however my first multisport event was the Peebles Duathlon in September 2018. That gave me a bug for duathlons and I have done about eight since then.

“I would never have imagined when I joined GTC that I would be possible to compete at world age group level but I did. The Pontevedra ITU Age Group Sprint Duathlon World Championships was an incredible experience.”

David was 17th in his age group.

Bike love

David also has a bit of an addiction for bikes. He said: “I own six bikes and on a sunny summer’s day there is nothing to beat a few hours on the bike. However, when the winter comes my running mileage definitely increases.”

Running and swimming

Having joined GTC to improve his running time, David also decided to give swimming a go.

He said: “I could barely swim a length of the pool at the start. However, a after a year of regularly attending the Sunday Western Bath sessions, thanks to Duggie Mac’s patience, I’ve learnt how to breathe and stop fighting the water. I just need to sort out my endurance and pace now…

“However, I would say that my biggest improvement has probably been my running. I have taken more than two minutes off my 5k time in the last year and that shows the benefits of the club Monday and Thursday night running sessions.”

David’s goals

David has a few goals in multi-sport. He said: “I would like to improve my swimming and do some open water swims and triathlons. I also hope to qualify for the 2020 ITU or ETU sprint duathlon.

“Maybe one day I will also complete an Ironman. It seems to be the ultimate challenge to do.”

A few tips

Go to the GTC sessions – I’ve seen such an improvement in both my running and swimming because of that.

Learn to understand pacing – This is the best way to achieve PBs and to a horrible final stage of a race.

Sign up to an event – This has kept me a lot more motivated for training over winter, so I would recommend that people enter a race if they are struggling for some training inspiration.

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