Active root - nutriton partner for Strathclyde University Triathlon Club

Active Root is proud to support Strathclyde University Triathlon Club! Check out club member Finn Trenholm's account of representing GB at Cross Triathlon!

Event Spotlight - cross triathlon - club member finn trenholm

Hi my name is Finn Trenholm and over the years I have been competing within cross-triathlon events all over Scotland and have represented the GB age-group triathlon team for cross-triathlon at 2 world international championships.

I have been taking part and competing in triathlons since I was around 14 (currently 22) where I raced some junior super-sprint races on road bikes throughout the youth categories and stumbled into cross triathlon at 16. I come from a swimming and mountain biking background so this format of triathlon piqued my interest immediately and have been hooked ever since!

I am currently training hard as I have been selected again to represent the GB age-group cross-triathlon team at both the 2023 World and European Championships. I also will be racing all of the Scottish races as usual to keep myself busy throughout the year.

Favourite Race:

I think any of the Scottish cross-triathlon series races are my favourite every year. If I had to pick one it would probably be the Craggy Island cross-triathlon. It is one of the most unique races which I have competed in as you are racing on a small island called Kerra which is only a short sea swim away from mainland Scotland. Competitors are taken across in shuttle boats to carry themselves and their kit onto the island.

Once you have set up both of your transitions on the island, you are taken back across to the mainland in your wetsuit and goggles to prepare to swim back over to Kerra for the swim leg of the triathlon. Once back on the island, you complete a lap of it on the bike with some really fun mountain biking, which is followed by a run to the highest point on the island and down again. 

Worst Race Memory and Why?:

My worst race memory was unfortunately the first time I raced abroad and was my first ever world championships representing the GB age-group cross-triathlon team. The swim was filled with jellyfish which were unavoidable for the whole course. I also unfortunately had my first ever mechanical problem within any race…

I snapped my chain within the first 5km into the 30km mountain bike leg. I had never had a chain problem before and therefore I was not carrying a master link to repair my chain. This led to a DNF at my first international race as I couldn't recover from the mechanical failure. To top it all off, after the adrenaline of the race wore off I felt my neck burning up from a jellyfish sting which I didn’t feel at the time! 

Fuelling Strategies for Races or Long Sessions?

I have tried a few things over the years such as energy bars and gels but I have generally stuck to having at least one gel throughout a race - normally on the bike around halfway or the ¾ mark to make sure I have some fuel on the run. I sometimes change this to 2 gels and again normally on the bike leg if I think I am going to really suffer up some big hills! Sometimes right out of transition and then around ¾ of the bike.

Something which I have really enjoyed on longer training sessions, especially my long mountain bike rides, is taking a hydration bag which is water only and then having a bottle on the bike which contains the Active Root Ginger flavour sports drink mix.I have found it to be really easy on my stomach which is great for long rides and helps replenish the salts which I am sweating out. I will also always carry a gel using the ginger flavour gel mix as well to prevent any bonking if I feel myself getting hungry!

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Favourite Aspect of Cross-Triathlon?

I think my favourite part of the racing is always the bike section of the race. I always have such a fun time on my bike regardless of really pushing myself to the limit which I didn’t find competing in regular triathlons with a road bike section. I also really enjoy the atmosphere of cross-triathlon, especially in Scotland. After doing so many you begin to recognise other competitors who are also showing up at these events and become friends in these events which makes racing so much more fun. A lot of the events are a lot more laid back and informal in comparison to other races which I think really adds to the appeal. You can push yourself as much as you wish but it’s also just a challenge to make it around courses in some of the most picturesque parts of the country.