Island Games Guest Blog - Alan Rowe, Triathlon Team Manager & Emily Squire, Triathlete
In our final edition of our Island Games guest blog series, we speak to Triathlete Emily Squire and the Triathlon Team Manager Alan Rowe on competing in front of a home crowd, Guernsey as a race venue and using the sport to settle into island life.
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Emily Squire, Triathlete
1. How do you feel before your triathlon contests – do you get nervous or stay calm?
Nerves are often my downfall!! I get really nervous before the swim, especially if there are waves! Controlling my nerves is a big thing and something I am working on, I think being in front of a home crowd is going to make everyone a bit nervous. Once the swim is over and done with, and the wet suit is off, I can relax and I enjoy the rest of the race. I love the Island Games bike course and having a lapped run makes it exciting, because you can see the race, your team mates and competitors.
Emily running in FNB XC Series 2019/20
2. Where on the island will the Triathlon competition for the Island Games be taking place? Are you looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd?
For the first time in Island Games history there will actually be two triathlon races, which is really exciting! Triathlon opens and closes the Games, which is a great showcase for the sport,
The Games open with the Olympic distance triathlon, which takes place at Rocquaine Bay with the back drop of the Cup & Saucer. We swim at Rocquaine and then the bike is a 3 lap course with a mix of long climbs and flat sections. The laps should keep it interesting for spectators. We never get to race on closed roads, so I think we are all looking forward to that! The run is a three lap route, which goes out towards the Fairy Rings and then back along the coast to the cup and saucer. It is a mainly flat and fast run.
The second race which closes the games is the Team relay which take place in town! Teams of three (two men and one female) from each time all race in a short and fast swim, bike, run! Each team member swims 400m in the harbour, before heading out on the bike which goes along the front, then a short run before handing over to the next team member!
Tri Club race at Rocquaine Bay
3. Are Triathlons, in general, a good opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and settle in new residents to our island community? Do you need to have a certain standard of fitness to join?
I moved to Guernsey with my family seven years ago without knowing anyone, when I moved here I got involved with Laura & Amy from Try a Tri Guernsey, they were so friendly and welcoming and made everything great fun. I then got involved with the Tri Club and never looked back. The Tri Club is incredibly welcoming, we have members of all abilities and at all levels of fitness. I have made so many friends through triathlon and sport on the island. Sport plays a huge part of island life and all the clubs are filled with great fun and like minded individuals, whatever your sport you will be made to feel welcome.
Emily and her fellow Female Triathlon team mates at the Gibraltar Island Games, 2019
4. What do you love most about island life in Guernsey?
Island life is great! I love that it is so safe, I don't worry about the kids and I really feel my children have a huge amount of freedom growing up here. I love that you are never far away from beautiful beaches and amazing clear seas. There are some great bars and restaurants, but you cant beat fish and chips with a West Coast sunset! I found it a hugely welcoming island and love living here.
Alan Rowe, Triathlon Team Manager
1. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself – when did you first start training for triathlons, did you start with one of the 3 sports first?
I've been a lifelong athlete and competed as a runner on the track, road and cross country through my childhood and onwards. I started swimming and biking in my twenties when I was in the UK, partly as a result of running injuries and because I liked cycling. I then started competing in duathlons (run - bike - run) as it complimented my running ambitions.
Alan cycling at Rocquaine Bay, St Pierre du Bois
2. What made you sign up to your first triathlon and how did it go?
I'd been living in Guernsey for a while and knew I could be reasonably competitive at a triathlon so I just tried one of the local races. The swim went quite well and I came out of the water not too far behind the leaders. I then sat in transition for ages as I tried to get my windsurfing wetsuit off whilst everyone else easily slid out of their triathlon wetsuits and sped off on the bike leaving me struggling with mine! I don't remember quite where I finished, but it was a valuable lesson learned.
3. There are so many triathlon events held throughout the year in Guernsey with athletes from overseas competing – why do you think Guernsey is such a great location for these competitions?
Our race venues are just amazing compared to what you might get at a UK race. We have variety of swim venues and great water conditions, the roads have really good smooth surfaces for the bike and runs are mostly on coastal trails that are scenic and traffic free. You can really enjoy the environment whilst also feeling safe as you race. The organisers and marshals are so friendly, encouraging and everyone is made to feel welcome. It's a very open and inclusive sport on the island!
Swimming at La Valette Bathing Pools, St Peter Port
4. Finally, what do you love most about island life in Guernsey?
I love the environment and its beauty coupled with the surrounding islands which provides further uniqueness. Being in a compact environment it's really good for striking a healthy work/life balance. You are normally 10-15 minutes from anywhere, so you can do activities before work, at lunchtime or in the evenings as suits your schedule. You can get involved in so many things and people are friendly and welcoming, there is a great sense of community and pride in it!
If you are considering relocating to the island, the team at Locate Guernsey are on hand to provide confidential guidance throughout your relocation journey free of charge. If you would like to understand how Guernsey could work for you, please get in touch on 01481 220011 or email email@example.com.
© All photo credits - Alan Rowe & Emily Squire