GTC triathlete of the month: Sean Webster

Sean takes part in cyclocross events over the winter.

Sean Webster will be well known to you all as GTC president. He has been a member of the club for an impressive 17 years and has enjoyed triathlon for some 25 years.

He is a sports officer by day and races in the super vets category.

Sean’s triathlon epiphany came during a period when he was working in clubs and promoting bands and discovered how unfit he was.

He said: “It was after I had finished university and I was basically  going out every night because of my job. That meant I didn’t have much time for keeping fit. One day, I decided to try a run and only managed to run 400 metres.

“I then saw the famous video of American triathlete Julie Moss crawling across the finish line of her first Ironman in 1982 and despite not being able to swim very well I decided triathlon was for me.

“I thought that triathlons looked hard and I liked the idea of that. To be honest, I’m attracted to repetition and endurance, for example in music I always liked long songs best.”

Sean in GTC kit racing in 2011.

Many years of triathlon

Sean’s favourite triathlon discipline is constantly changing. He said: “For example, I used to be a reasonable runner but I haven’t really run much over the past few years. At the moment, I’d say my favourite is maybe swimming.”

Our president has seen good improvements in cycling in recent years “mainly due to riding my bike more”.

Sean is very fond of long A to B bike packing trips, when he take his bike on the train is a distance place and then rides home.

Sean enjoys one of his solo bike packing trips.

He also recorded several swimming PBs around two years ago. He said: “I think that I benefitted from coaching the club’s swimming sessions and so I worked out what not to do and that makes you go faster.”

When it comes to racing, Sean enjoys half ironman (middle distance) because he reckons “it’s a god day’s racing on minimal training”. (Blog editor: He means minimal training for him!”)

He adds: “ I have done a couple of Ironmans, too, but it was 20 years between my first and second Ironman races due mainly to laziness.

“I am doing Ironman Wales in a few weeks and if that goes okay I might be in for next year, too.”

A Durty triathlon.

Sean will also take part in the Glentress Trail Marathon later this year and he had hoped to compete in The Fling ultra running race earlier in the year but the dates of a coaching course were changed and he had to pull out.

A build-up event, the Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon recently, saw Sean having to deal with a broken pedal. He said: “I had about 18 miles to go in the 56-mile ride  when the pedal broke off.  I was also facing the second ascent of Schiehallion.

“I tried to cycle as much of it as I could using just one leg and I was forced to get off and walk for a bit, too.

“It did set me back and that meant the run was harder than I’d hoped but I still got to the finish line.”

When asked about his achievements, Sean said: “I have been married for nearly 20 years and I have two children. They are both achievements to be proud of. I don’t think I have any sporting achievements.”

Looking to the future, Sean said: “Every year I try to make sure I enjoy triathlon enough to come back next year.”

Racing cyclocross.

Sean’s presidential years

Sean  became GTC president four years ago. He said: “I very much see myself carrying on the work that David Wilson did from about 2008. The club had split and lots of very good athletes went off and formed another club.

“I thought, ‘What to do?’ So, we became the friendly club and tried to help everyone who wanted to join and take part in our sport. That has become our ethos and it is an inspirational thing to be associated with.

“It’s incredibly humbling to watch members do their first races and achieve their goals.”

Sean’s top 3 triathlon tips

Train the f*** out of the human before buying an expensive bike.

Keep the balance between the three disciplines.

Derive fun from every training session or race.