Dan Webb’s Hever Castle Triathlon Journey

Hever Castle Triathlon
June 02 2015 | What's on

Hever Castle Maintenance Works Coordinator, Dan Webb, is a convert to triathlon and claims it literally changed his life. In this article we share his triathlon journey and see how taking part in the Hever Castle Triathlon helped him lose weight and gain a new zest for life.

Hever Castle Triathlon

Having worked in a physically demanding farming job when he was younger, Dan found that he lost a lot of fitness after leaving that job, and quickly gained a stone upon joining Hever Castle in 2002. Prior to taking part in triathlon training he weighed 16.5 stone and was largely inactive.

“Since taking part in triathlon and regular training I have had two promotions at work and generally felt a lot happier as a whole. It makes you realise how exercise and your body’s fitness is so crucial and can make such a difference to your life.”

Now in his fourth season of triathlon training, Dan’s first event was the Hever Castle Triathlon Evening Sprint in May 2012 followed by the Super Sprint at the main Hever Castle Triathlon in September 2012. His motivation for entering came whilst working at the 2011 triathlon with the boat safety crew, where he found himself yearning to actually be in the water taking part.

Dan’s Triathlon Training Plan

The month following this revelation, Dan bought a bike and started cycling the Super Sprint route of the Hever Castle Triathlon, gradually getting quicker.

In November he started swimming in the pool once a week, before swimming in the lake for the first time the following spring. March saw him starting to run at least once a week, which he found difficult at first saying, “this is probably my weakest discipline, I was always a sprinter at school not a long distance runner.”

Dan’s approach to training was deliberately gradual and he allowed himself plenty of time to introduce each activity. He then made sure to train in each discipline at least once a week.

Juggling Training with Work and Family Life

Balancing a full time job, family life and training is challenging, but Dan admits that actually working at Hever Castle has enabled him to dedicate more time to his training than otherwise may have been possible.

“As you move up distances you need to be more committed and yet still balance your family life and work. I can do that by working training in with my work environment. I finish work at five and am able to train right on my doorstep. I can swim in the castle lake, run around the grounds and cycle all the routes. It is a paradise for triathlon!”

Dan finds his friends and colleagues at the castle to be very supportive with many also taking part in the triathlon. “Hever Castle employees have embraced the triathlon with more and more taking part each year. We now have a running and swimming club after work all inspired by the Hever Castle Triathlon.”

This year marks the fourth year that Hever Castle will have teams involved in the triathlon with staff from across the estate taking part, including the CEO.

Dan’s Next Triathlon Challenge

Having taken part in the Super Sprint, Olympic, and Gauntlet (half iron) distances at Hever Castle, this year Dan is tackling the Olympic distance triathlon at Leeds Castle for a new challenge. He then plans to do either a fast Olympic distance or try to beat his time on the Gauntlet (7:10 in 2014) at the Hever Castle Triathlon in September.

Dan also has his sights set on doing more events in the future, but claims “they have a lot to live up to the Hever Castle Triathlon!” In particular he would love to take part in a triathlon abroad, with Majorca being a contender.

Dan’s Triathlon Training Advice

When training for a triathlon, whether for the first time or increasing your distance, Dan recommends reading relevant magazines and seeking advice. Based on his own experience he advises triathletes to “cycle over the amount as it gives you the extra endurance you need on race day. It’s good to know the course and overdo it, for example for the Gauntlet I practiced 120km cycle rides rather than 90km. Psychologically you have to know you can complete the distance comfortably.”

He concluded by saying, “the best advice given to me is train hard race easy.”

For more information on the Hever Castle Triathlon or The Bastion at Hever Castle and to enter, please visit the Castle Triathlon website.

Hever Castle Triathlon

This article is based on an interview with Dan Webb that appeared on the Castle Triathlon website.