Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bill Scanlan Part 2

Bill Scanlan Mt Ventoux Triathlon
  1. Tell us about the one or a few inspirational moments of your Triathlon career. Are there any standout moments  or memories or accomplishments you are most proud of? The moment I will always be most proud of is racing as an age grouper in front of my Mum at Busselton IM. I had been out of competition for 2-3 years because my mum and stepfather both had cancer - it was a tough time! I felt so helpless in what I could do to help Mum so I decided to return to triathlon and do a race in her honour. I had a great race and finished in the top-20 but more important was for Mum to be there and for me to be able to pass the finishers medal on to her to let her know that I was so proud of her and the way she battled through some really difficult times. It was something that was hard for me to tell in her words and I have always thought that actions speak louder than words anyway. I hope she got the message
  2. What do you enjoy most about our sport: Now that I am not competing, I realise that one of the things I really enjoyed was being so fit. Not in a vain way but just the feeling of being so healthy and strong is such a nice feeling to have and probably not something you can replicate easily unless you have the threat of an impending race hanging over your head.
  3. What is your favourite race and why? Probably IM France. First of all Nice is an amazing location and the summer weather there is brilliant. The swim is in beautiful calm ocean water. But its the bike course that is magical: It is a one-lap course with flat parts, climbs, descents, rolling hills and some super steep (but short) sections. The bike courses in Europe really are about riding a bike not just time trialling in a straight line – I should not be critical, they are just different over there and there approach appeals to me. The scenery is spectacular. The run along the Promenade des Anglais is brutal in the hot sun but the atmosphere is incredible.
  4. Who or what in Triathlon inspires you? I get inspired by people involved in the sport who do it and understand sport as a deeply personal and internal thing. I am inspired by people who just love riding for the sake of riding and the freedom of being outdoors. I enjoy being around people who are always keen to learn and improve and people who are not content to just follow the crowd. People who are brave enough to really have a go knowing too well that there is a chance they could fail.
  5. Do you have a favourite workout and if you do what is it? A long trail run always made me feel good and strong and refreshed. Otherwise I used to really enjoying doing mash up sessions. I had a favourite lake I used to swim at in France. I would go there and do random circuits of swimming, running, core work, strength work and just keep on going until I could go no further. I used to do similar in a gym and create circuits that included bike work on a trainer, running on a treadmill and weights – you could really do some serious damage with those types of sessions and in a relatively short space of time. And they were always so intense that there would be no time for boredom.
  6. (bonus question)  What question did you hope that I’d ask you, but haven’t?  And what is the answer to that question. What are the biggest things you learned during your time as a pro athlete? I learned the importance of really being able to trust and back yourself in spite of niggling self doubts that most of us have. I learned that to be successful in any field you need to know yourself inside out and that you have to know how to play to your strengths while continually working on your weaknesses. One of the hardest things about doing this well is to really know what your strengths and weaknesses are, not just physically but all your strengths and weaknesses (triathlon is such a life encompassing sport!). I also learned that you should never accept the status quo: The best athletes I knew were always growing and learning and trying out new things. That is where true improvement comes from – those who are willing to take a gamble on a new way of doing things.
  7. What’s one unique thing we might see if we peeked inside your training bag? At the moment, you will find the hospital wristband that I wore when my son Raphael was born. This is because I went for a swim some days after he was born. We were still staying at hospital at the time so I was wearing the band but it was annoying to swim with, so I took it off and it is still in my bag (after almost 18 months).
  8. What’s your favorite pre-race or mid-race fuel? A can of Red Bull mid-race usually did the trick for me.
  9. Do you have any rituals or good luck routines you do before a race? Not really. I would always try to eat similar sorts of things before races but even this would change often as I always liked to experiment. I always raced better when my wife Claire was around, so over time people did start to call her my good luck charm .
  10. What’s your favorite triathlon discipline to compete at? The bike has always been a favourite of mine.
  11. How did you start up with BYL and coaching ? A good friend of mine started BYL. I was just lucky that he was keen for me to get involved and encouraged me to do so. So really, I just piggy backed on the hard work of somebody else. Most of the things I have done over time seem to have been the result of the goodwill of others . In this way I have been very fortunate.
  12. What’s something people might be surprised to find out about you? I really do not consider myself much of a sporty person and definately not a pure athlete. I just like to commit to things and work hard and this seems to be what is behind the direction that my life takes. If it is not in sport then there will always be something else that I am working towards.
  13. When you are not training or competing, people can find you: I have a knack for dissappearing from the scene when I am not out there training and racing so I guess I am not sure where people could find me, and I probably quite like it that way .
  14. What’s the one race you haven’t done yet that you like to do someday. I am not sure. I have been lucky to do some really great and iconic races in my time. I attempted Embrunman in 2011 but did not finish because I got hit by a car so perhaps I should go back there one day and try to finish it. But the thought of training for such a brutal race is rather daunting at this point in time. Who knows, life changes in an instant.