Team Scotland hopeful, Marc Austin, has treble the training workload in his bid to qualify for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The teenage triathlete from Scotstoun in Glasgow is swimming, cycling and running up to 30 hours a week, spurred on by the chance to make his first Team Scotland.
He said: “When you are training so much, you can get into your own bubble so to come together with other athletes and be a part of Team Scotland is inspiring, making you realise there are lots of people out there working just as hard.”
“I am very proud to be Scottish and would love to get the chance to put on a Scottish tri-suit at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. When I’ve been in Team GB, I feel like I am representing Scotland as well, but I’d love to do it for real, especially in front of a home crowd in my home city.”
“That really excites me as when you race abroad there are people cheering you on, but it makes a massive difference when you know the fans are cheering you on directly. I don’t get a chance to do big races in Scotland much, but seeing what the crowd was like for the Brits in London I am sure Glasgow can better that and it gives the Scottish triathletes a massive advantage.”
Austin, studying Mathematics at the University of Stirling, first started running and swimming at Scotstoun Primary School before taking up triathlon in his early teens, quickly rising up the rankings with the triathlonscotland national squads.
The 19-year-old is currently in his final year as a junior and is planning on qualifying for his third consecutive European and World Championships before turning his attention to the senior format – known as Olympic distance – comprising a concurrent 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.
In Glasgow, Strathclyde Park will host both an individual event and a new Mixed Relay event, a format Austin knows well having won the gold medal at the 2011 European Junior Championships.
“The relays are a different kind of buzz”, explained Austin. “It’s an exciting format and a fantastic addition to the sport programme at Glasgow 2014.”
“This year, being my last as a junior, I’m still focused on that distance. I’ve signed up for a French Grand Prix team and while it’s still sprint distance racing, it’s competing against the best guys in the world.
“I’m making the transition first with a few sprint races then I’ll hopefully get an Olympic distance race in this year. Next winter, my training will alter slightly to compensate for the change in distance and the start of next year is when I will start to properly concentrate on the Olympic distance.”
You can follow Marc on Twitter @marcja94
Photo Credit: Alistair Devine