Will Draper on his successful start to 2019
“The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you”
This is my second year racing as a triathlete and not a cyclist. It is also the second year Thornton Chartered Financial Planners have supported me. Everything still feels very new, in an ever changing environment, the stability I receive from my sponsors keeps me confidently moving forwards towards my ambitious career aspirations.
My first major result this year was winning the Staffordshire Half Marathon. I finished the 13.1 mile event in a time of 1h 11m 44s. I feel this was a great show of my resilience due to picking up an impact injury just 8 weeks previously, allowing a total of less than 25 miles training before the event.
Secondly in May I won the English National Standard Distance Tri Championship. I had a good swim, which is my biggest weakness, resulting in a somewhat easy chase on the bike. I then finished the day off with a 35 minute 10km run to comfortably take the win across all age categories.
Most recently I made the step up to middle distance racing. This was in the form of an Ironman 70.3 race (70.3 is the total distance of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run). In my debut race I finished 2nd in the under 24 age group, at an age of 19, as well as 15th overall which included the professional athletes. Initially I looked at the negatives of what went wrong for me; But on returning home to a wave of support I realised what a great start to my career in middle distance triathlon that race was.
I train and race in a hugely supportive environment. The pressure to perform at races will only ever come from myself. This is something not every athlete can say and is why I take pride in the sponsors I work with. The support of Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, a local family run business established in the same year I was born, just adds that extra level of determination to the hard work I commit myself to every day. I cannot thank Sharon, Jools and the team enough for the belief they have had in me from the start and I cannot wait to show everyone what I am capable of in the future…