James Hodgson - Sport Inspired by You
As part of our new Sport Inspired by You campaign we have taken real life stories from athletes of all abilities to inspire the next generation of athletes. Sport is a great way to improve yourself both physically and mentally as well as a great way to make new friends. Many do often wonder how others got started or can be overwhelmed at the beginning stages. So let these stories show you how anyone can get involved and just how fun and exhilarating sport can be.
- What got you interested in triathlon?
It all started when I was challenged to an aquathlon (swim-run) by my geography teacher back when I was in sixth form. That initially sparked my interest in multi-sport and upon moving to university I naturally gravitated towards triathlon rather than trying to pursue the numerous other team sports I was involved with prior to that. Although it is classed as 'one' sport, you still get a lot of diversity in your training, racing and social groups when you are involved in triathlon, which I really enjoy and is probably comparable to what I experienced when I was training for and competing in several team sports.
- Who has been you inspiration throughout your career?
That's a tough one... I've always liked how Richard Murray has trained and raced on the international stage. He always seems to enjoy his training and racing without taking it or himself too seriously, something I probably needed to try and do more if I'm honest! I had the honour of bumping in to him after the World Championships on the Gold Coast and I can say that he is a genuinely nice guy.
- Are there any short or long term goals you're working towards or have achieved recently?
A big goal from the outset of my triathlon journey was to qualify for the British Triathlon Age Group team, something I achieved earlier than planned back in 2015! After that it was all about trying to improve my performances until I came 7th (and fastest British athlete) at the 2016 World Championships in Mexico, and then I started to aim for national and international podiums. I had a bit of bad luck in 2017; crashing at the European Championships and coming 4th, which resulted in a below par World Championships for me, but everything clicked in 2018 where I picked up the English and World Champion titles. Now, I'm in my second year of PhD research and academic career, I'm aiming to be as competitive as possible on the national and international stage in the 25-29 age group whilst still balancing my training, work and social lives. Hopefully there are a few more race podiums and titles I can pick up over the next few seasons!