Age: 34

From: Manchester

About Paul: “I’ve been competing and coaching in triathlon for over 11 years, starting in 2005. I began racing the shorter distances and as I progressed moved up to half and full ironman distance, achieving success and national titles in all distances. In 2011 I followed my dream and began competing as a professional athlete over half and full iron distance.

My greatest achievements to date are:

  • 1st in the Outlaw half and full distance triathlon.
  • 3rd Ironman UK.
  • 10th ironman Wales.
  • Numerous National titles.

What you’re most looking forward to about the Braveheart Tri?

“Everything! I watched the TV footage last year and knew I just had to give the race a go – it looked brutal. I really enjoy and perform better at the tougher events as they are far more testing both physically and mentally than your average run of the mill triathlon.

“The run looks something else, with an average gradient of 18 per cent to the top it’s not going to be easy.

“I also served as a Royal Marines Commando, being based in Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland, and have spent a lot of time up in the Highlands mountain training.

“I really miss the place, so it’s a great opportunity to take the family up there and for them to experience it. The bike route also passes through Spein Bridge the home of the Royal Marine memorial – and that is pretty special for me.”

What are you goals for the Tri?

“My main goal for the Braveheart Tri is to get the very best out of my body on the day and push myself all the way to the line – if that’s good enough for the win, then happy days!”

Training tips for the big day?

“This race is a different beast to most other events I’ve raced, where the run takes longer than the bike!

“So, first of all don’t leave your legs on the bike, and plan to pace the bike slightly easier than you would a normal half distance as the quickest run split last year was just over three hours!

“Secondly, break the race down into smaller manageable chunks, especially on the run, and chip away at it one step at a time.

“Train on the the hills and embrace them – do not shy away from them! I’m fortunate to live on the edge of the Peak District but if you’re not so lucky, improvise, and adapt your surroundings – a multi-storey car park or some high rise flats are just as effective!”


Facebook: Paul Hawkins

Twitter: @Pmhawkins2002