2014-15 Male Ambassador

Q. Who is Geoff Houston?geoffh2

I am a Commercialisation Manager for CSIRO, where I have worked for the last 14 years. On a daily basis I get to interact with some of the most talented scientists in Australia, helping them to move their innovations from benchtop to market. Earlier in my career I worked for many years with a multinational resource company developing better ways to extract aluminium. I come from Sydney and did my University studies there, but have called Melbourne home for about the last 30 years. I met my wife, Caroline (also at Tri-Alliance) at University and we had a wonderful 5 year honeymoon living and working in the USA, Norway and The Netherlands, whilst I undertook scientific research at various overseas institutions (she may not completely agree with that bit about the honeymoon). We have 2 grown-up daughters who amaze us with their zest for life.

Q. Share with us your training/racing plans this year.

My training for the 2014/15 season started earlier than for most athletes as during the previous 2013/14 summer of racing I had managed to qualify for the Australian team for the World Age Group Championships held in Edmonton, Canada. My training essentially involved an 18 week focussed schedule designed by Tri-Alliance coaches that started very early in 2014 and continued right up to race day in August 2014. This was a fairly intense period but greatly helped by support from TA coaches and my training partner, Caroline, who had also qualified.

geoffh4

Post the Worlds, I have been focussed on recovering, gently participating in the 2014/15 Gatorade Sprint Distance races and taking a few extra training sessions to work on specific weaknesses. Swimming has been a particular focus this season and I also now aim to improve running speed. Both of these extra sessions mean that I need a working knowledge of Spanglish to get through them.

Q. What does it mean to you to be Tri-Alliance Victoria’s male Ambassador this year?

I feel very special to have been chosen as an Ambassador, particularly considering the calibre of people within the Club. I have participated in different sports all my life, having played competitive rugby and squash – both here and overseas, netball (yes, netball), fun runs, round-the-bay rides, ocean swims and many other ad hoc sporting activities. I love it and I love being with other athletes who also enjoy the shared experience of training and competing together. I know what it is like to try new sports and the uncertainty and discipline needed to achieve personal goals, however modest.

I get a real kick out of encouraging others and seeing them delighted with their achievements. I am very happy to be able to share my experiences and excitement for the sport to help others along the way.

Q. When did you start with Tri-Alliance and how has your experience/journey with us shaped you?

I am relatively new to the sport of triathlon. I came to Tri Alliance about 3 seasons ago just to be an open water buddy swimmer to help another athlete. I was welcomed and encouraged by the TA crew, which turned into regular attendance at training, Club membership, signing up for my first triathlon, and then completing my first Gatorade Sprint Distance Tri series. Back then I was searching for my next ‘activity’ and triathlon has really filled a hole for me. After just 3 seasons I have learnt so much (and still learning) about technique, consistency and balanced approaches to goal setting. And made many new friends, all of whom are amazing in their own way and incredibly supportive of each other.  With the help of TA, I was even able to become an Australian Representative at the World Age Group Championships, something that I would never have dreamed of doing but for my involvement with Tri-Alliance. The reward and sense of achievement is remarkable.

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Q. What are 3 pieces of advice you can give anyone starting out on their own journey with Tri-Alliance?

1. Training consistency is essential; if you turn up regularly to training, you will definitely get better. It’s a very simple equation. Just do it – you might even surprise yourself. Being around other like-minded people will help you get there.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Tri-Alliance is a very supportive Club and there is always someone around who can help you directly or direct you to someone else. I’ve asked plenty of newby questions (and still do) and people hardly ever laugh at me anymore.

3. Give everything a go and encourage others to do so as well. You will truly surprise yourself – what might seem a little daunting today will become part of your regular routine tomorrow. And make sure to have fun and a bit of a giggle whilst you are doing it.

See you out there.

Read more about the Tri-Alliance ambassador program here.

 

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