The Total Motion Aquathlon - Athlete Profile – Gary Laybourne

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Gary Laybourne/Matt Hudson, Total Motion Events, March 2017

In the third of our series profiling GB AG athletes that will be appearing at the Total Motion Aquathlon in April, here we introduce Gary Laybourne.  Gary is the reigning European Aquathlon AG champion and National middle distance gold medalist and so will be providing some stiff competition in April at Tooting Lido, although neither swimming or running are his favourite disciplines.  Be concerned if you hear the Prodigy playing at any point - just what he needs to pick up the pace.

Name:                      Gary Laybourne
Tri Club:                   South London Harriers Tri Club (Tri Captain)
BTF AG Category:   35-39
AG athlete since:      2012

Titles / medals:

2016 European Aquathlon AG Gold
2016 National Middle Distance AG Gold (2nd overall)
2014 England Tri South East Series Winner


[Total Motion] Which is you favourite (multi-sport) discipline and why?
[Gary Laybourne] Running in terms of my background and where most of my good results come from but anytime on the bike is good time. I love the freedom and exploration that cycling gives you.

[TM] What is the best piece of (sports) advice you’ve received?
[GL] 'It's good to lose'. I was lucky my junior athletics coach was ahead of his time; he made sessions fun and used to say any bad result gives you so much more to study and work on than any successful ones. Embrace failure people!

[TM] What/who motivates you or what is your favourite inspirational quote?
[GL] No one person but anyone who overcomes barriers to succeed. I love reading sports biographies of the elite doing this right through to hearing about age groupers and 'plodders' who do incredible things in the face of adversity. I'm also incredibly motivated more recently to make my little ones proud. I have a 4 and 2 year old who I want feeling that they can achieve anything in if they take up triathlon it means I can just 'retire' and become a supporter! Fave quote: "Medals are won in winter, collected in summer"!

[TM] What music/song do you listen to whilst you are training?
[GL] Love my music so a real mix of things but any Prodigy goes on and you'll see my tempo start to pick up!

[TM] What is your 2017 target?
[GL] I'd love to medal at the European Middle Distance Champs in Denmark. I'm also super proud to be SLH Tri Captain so I'll be taking part in London League races while hassling others to do it too!

[TM] What piece of kit/tech can you not do without?
[GL] Garmin 920XT has been revolutionary for me to get accurate and instant training stats. And slightly less rock and roll - my noseclip for pool sessions or I'm sneezing for the rest of the day!

[TM] What are the essential elements of a great event?
[GL] Good comms before, clearly signed routes on the day and friendly race team members throughout. The rest is up to you, the athlete, so prepare as best you can and remember to smile - we aren't pro's!!!

[TM] What is your greatest/most memorable sporting achievement to date?
[GL] Last season was amazing with some big wins but I still get goosebumps about the 2013 ITU Worlds in Hyde Park despite not getting the result I wanted. The crowd was packed all the way round and hearing so many friends and family there was immense. 

[TM] Which event/challenge is on your bucket list?
[GL] Too many! Paris-Roubaix sportive, riding more famous climbs and finally getting round to my first Ironman. I'll also throw myself out of a plane one day!

[TM] What is your guilty pleasure?
[GL] After every race I'll always have a cold cider, a pasty and proper chip shop chips. You can take the boy out of Devon.... ;)

You can follow Gary on Twitter @GaryLaybourne