This year we have a really great field lined up for the Rottnest Swimrun, including last year's winners Emily Loughnan and Gary Couanis who are back to defend their title. But they'll have some stiff competition, with the current Swimrun Australia (Sydney) champion Andrew "Reidy" Reid flying west to take part for the first time.
We had an opportunity to speak to Reidy about where he has come from, how he got into Swimrun, and his expectations for Rottnest.
We are excited to have you flying over from Sydney to compete at this year’s Rottnest Swimrun and thanks for taking the time to speak to us in the lead up.
Before we dive into the Swimrun questions I’d like to talk to you a bit about your background.
Dan: Can you tell us a bit about who you are and where you come from?
Reidy: I was born and bred in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Around the age of 22 I became a lifeguard on Bondi Beach.
Dan: Speaking of Bondi Beach, people might know you from the TV series Bondi Rescue - how long have you been working as a lifeguard at Bondi?
Reidy: I’ve been working at Bondi for 16 years.
Dan: So as a lifeguard you obviously need to keep fit and be a strong swimmer, were you always that way or did becoming a lifeguard push you to train more?
Reidy: I learnt to swim at an early age with my two sisters. I always enjoyed it but being a lifeguard means I have to do it more consistently so that I stay fit enough to pass my annual tests.
Dan: And what sorts of endurance races have you done over the years?
Reidy: Molokai 2 Oahu World Championships of Paddleboarding, Red Bull Defiance, Swim Run Wanaka, Ironman Melbourne , just to name a few.
Dan: And how did you find out about and get into Swimrun?
Reidy: My good friend Adriel “Bacon” Young moved to Sweden with his lovely wife and he started getting into it and brought a race to Rose Bay, Australia, (Swimrun Australia). I did it and loved it!
D: What do you love about Swimrun and what makes it unique?
Reidy: I love how there is no bike! The bike is the one thing I didn’t like about triathlon, it’s such a punish. Traveling with it is hard but training on one is Sydney is nearly impossible!
Dan: So you have done Swimruns in Wanaka and Sydney, what sparked your interest in the Rottnest Swimrun?
Reidy: I’ve raced and paddled for people in the Rottnest Island Swim so I know how beautiful it is and when I found out there was a Swimrun race around it I jumped at the chance!
Dan: You were the overall winner of the Swimrun Australia race in Sydney last year and similar to our race you won it racing in a mixed pair. Who did you race with and will you be bringing her to Perth?
Reidy: I raced Swinrun Aus with Celia Sullohern, she is a complete weapon on the run and I was just hanging on for dear life. She’s racing the Commonwealth Games in the 10km so her focus is all running and Rottnest Swimrun wasn’t an option for her. But I have found another handy partner in Felicity Sheedy-Ryan so hopefully we can have a good race :-)
Dan: How do you think your experience racing Swimrun in Sydney will translate to racing Rottnest Swimrun (given the increase in distances and different terrain)?
Reidy: I think you just need to look at the distances of discipline and play to the strengths of that. 30km of running - 4km of swimming = it's a runners race all day so my race plan would be to run hard and swimming for recovery.
Dan: So no doubt you are coming over with the intention to finish up the top end of the field and take home the coveted Uto the Quokka trophy. Anything you want to say to last year’s winners Emily and Gary?
Reidy: In the words of the great Ricky Bobby: “If you ain’t first you’re last” Bring it on!
Thanks for the chat Reidy, good luck and we're looking forward to seeing you in Perth!