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Trace Allen talks Triathlon

Posted by: Fundraising 16 July 2013

Trace Allen is not only our Chair of Trustees, but he's also an active pancreatic cancer survivor and member of Team GB's triathlon team (Age Group)! You might have spotted us tweeting his recent triathlon adventures in Turkey, and here we catch up with Trace to get a more in-depth race report and to find out what motivates him to keep competing…

Trace and Son Markus at the EuroTriChamps in Alanya, Turkey


"My most recent Tri was The EuroTriChamps in Alanya, Turkey. We had a hassle free journey to Alanya on Monday, including a two hour coach ride along the coast and 18 long hours after we left home we finally reached the GB Age Group Team hotel; a large picturesque resort with craggy mountains that dip their toes in the sea…though thankfully they were not on the course!

On the day itself I achieved my aims: not sinking in the swim, not falling off the bike, finishing and not finishing last! Hoorah! There was one scare at the second buoy as there was an 'object' floating in the water…my imagination was running overtime! However, it turned out to be the local sea rescue club on manoeuvres rather than Jaws! The swim took 39 minutes (9 minutes longer than normal) and I came 11th in my age group.

There's nothing to say about the pan-flat bike course with block-cobbles and tarmac! As ever, happy not to fall off as I had done at Budapest in 2010. 81 minutes for the 40k in sweltering heat…quick for me.

Then Murder on the Run - I was utterly drained. Alanya seems to be one of the World Centres for Pirates-on-Galleons-boozecruises. Unfortunately a flotilla accompanied the swim and then lined up on-shore to play Mock-the-Runners! Slow run for me at 60mins - utterly knackered."

"As for the triathlon itself, I've been doing it for 10 years or so. I started up because I was unable to run marathons anymore so switched to a sport with less impact and found I could run just as quick with less run training if I substituted swimming and biking. I did my first Worlds in 2004 - the year I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - and finished 20th. It took me untill 2006 to recover from the pancreatic cancer treatment; on reading Lance Armstrong's book I decided to set myself some 'Sporting Goals' as a way to get fit again and, like Armstrong, fight the disease and set examples to others.

First, I started small: a short cross-country run. Then a bit longer. The following year came a 10k run and the Great North Run. Then in 2008 I qualified for the Worlds in Hamburg - which was an emotional affair to put it mildly! In 2009 I sought to run five half marathons and ride my bike to Crakow in Poland and raised £28k with my fellow riders.

It continued, ever more stretching: a half Iron Man, eight half Marathons and the World TriChamps in Budapest in 2010. Then a full I.M and Lands End-to-John O'Groats in 2012. This year has already seen me compete in the EuroTriChamps and the UK trichamps, where I finished 13th, and qualified for the World Aquathlon-swim-run in Hyde Park in September. I won my Age Group in the Chichester Triathalon in very cold April and the Durham Aquathlon and I'm aiming to run six half Marathons (with three left to go!)

My aim is very simple - namely to give encouragement to my fellow sufferers. I'd like them to think "if he can do that, then I surely can do something too!"