Jeff Castles – A long way to Tri

As a kid, back in Tasmania, I grew up in the local Surf Life Saving Club. I started as a “nipper” at about 5 years old and continued up until the age of 20ish, when work saw me over 300 km inland. So I have a background in swimming and have completed some long open water swims, the longest being 10+ km across Tralee Bay, back in 2010.

I attended my first Tri in Australia way back in 1987 when a friend decided to do a Tri and wanted some moral support. The seed was planted, but a bit like my gardening skills, the seed took a while to take root, some 22 years in fact.

In 2009, I completed my first Tri. A sprint in Ballyheigue which was a fund raiser for Enable Ireland. 2010 I did the swim leg of a relay for the Lough Hyne Challenge and entered Ballyheigue again also Tralee Tri Club’s event on Banna beach, it was after this race that the seed really started to take root, as I got a real buzz from the Banna event.

After talking with Dave Egan, who I had known for a year or two from brookfield, where we swim, I decided to joined CTC for the 2011 season. I was hoping to find a few like minded souls to share the odd training run/ride with. After making contact with Brendan I ventured out for my first Sunday cycle. I don’t remember that much about the ride as I was focused on just trying to keep up, but everyone was friendly and made me feel welcome.

2011 and 2012 saw a jump in events to 4 sprints each year, with my first King of the Hill in 2011, (love that race). I decided that I would become more involved with the club in 2012 and put my hand up to take on the weekly emails and updates, a role that I have enjoyed and hope to continue in 2013.

What does the next year or so hold? I hope to step up the distance to a couple of olympics and a half, possibly The Lost Sheep next year, with a goal of an Iron Man the following year. That is if this aging body will hold together that long……:)