Feature Friday – SMART TRI .. a triathlon club

Smart Tri SmallFor the next few weeks the plan is to feature individuals or clubs that have inspired me along my journey so far. I’ve chosen them because I admire their tenacity, their belief that if one works hard enough, there’s nothing that’s impossible. In turn I hope that YOU too will be inspired by at least one .. if not all of them. They are from different backgrounds, but their uniqueness unites them as they have one thing in common .. to never give up!

You can’t out train a bad diet

SMART TRI @SmartTri3

Smart TRI is a Triathlon club for everyone. Regardless of where you are being coached, if you are young or retired, fast or slow. We are a club made up of friends and believe that we can have fun, whilst still respecting the sport and competing with each other. Always keep your training fun!

Be inspired ….

EKL is me 🙂

KF is the owner of Smart TRI

EKL – What was your initial motivation behind starting Smart TRI?

KF Triathlon is an individual sport, but I believe there is no better feeling than being part of a team. I wanted to create a club where athletes can train and race together, as well as socialise after the races. We have a team kit and we also take a gazebo and cooler box to races with refreshments for the athletes and their family/supporters.

We want athletes to feel like they are a part of the Smart TRI family. We are there to advise and encourage our fellow athletes. It is also a platform for newcomers to get into triathlons and to not feel intimidated.

EKL – How long has Smart TRI been around for?

KF – I launched Smart TRI towards the end of 2014, but it really only took big steps in 2015. We are growing as a club, and I am excited for this upcoming triathlon season. We’re all passionate about the triathlon sport. The club is made up of both experienced and novice triathletes. 

EKL – What sets Smart TRI apart from the other Triathlon Clubs/Programmes?

KF – You can be coached by anybody and be part of our club. We have experienced athletes and novices who have never done a sprint triathlon. We are all about the social aspect and you’re welcome, whether you are a podium contender or a back of the pack plodder. Triathlon can be very intimidating and we want to make you feel comfortable in the triathlon environment. 

EKL – What would you regard as a successful  season for Smart TRI?

KF – Definitely more smiling faces finishing the races in the Smart TRI colours, and continuous growth would be great too 🙂

EKL – Do you believe anyone has the ability to become a competent triathlete?

KF – Yes! Look at guys like Stan Andrews (Stumpy Stan), Rudy Garcia and Jon Blais to mention a few, they all have disabilities/challenges, but they won’t let it stop them competing in triathlons. 

EKL – What is more important, training, nutrition or talent?

KF – I say training and nutrition are on par with each other, you can’t have one without the other. There is a saying “You can’t out train a bad diet”, it is very true! Talent, I believe there are only a select few individuals that are born with natural talent, but we can all work on improving ourselves.

EKL – As a coach, what would you recommend a novice triathlete invest in first and why?

KF – The correct equipment for the athlete. You don’t need the most expensive equipment but it must  be suited for you. Riding an incorrect bike or running in the wrong shoes can lead to injuries. Do NOT skimp on your helmet! You only have one head/brain, so protect it!

EKL – Which triathlon have you enjoyed the most?

KF – Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii. It’s the “holy grail” of Ironman! That said, I have raced every Ironman South Africa  in Port Elizabeth(PE) and the even is world class! It is well organised and the citizens of PE have embraced the race, besides are a triathlete on the day you can also enjoy the the fantastic scenery during those difficult moments when you need revitalizing. 

EKL – Is there a triathlon series, in your opinion, that you would recommend a novice attempt first?

KF – Start small. Perhaps enter a sprint or the standard distance races as a team member and build from there. Eventually try it as an individual. You can’t go wrong with the Ironman branded events in SA. You get your money’s worth at the 5i50, 70.3 an Ironman races!

EKL – As a sport do you believe that triathlon is growing in popularity in South Africa?

KF – It is growing, and more individuals are taking part in triathlons. I would like to see more races and money put into races. We have plenty of talented triathletes who can’t take it to the next level due to financial constraints. It would be great to see them getting funding to allow these athlete to experience their full potential. 

EKL – Can anyone become a Smart TRI member, if so, where are you based and who could they contact?

KF – Anyone in the country can join Smart TRI. They can get a hold of me on smarttri3@gmail.com or via Facebook too.


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