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We catch up with Olympic Medalist Campbell Walsh

“GB team trials for the 2013 international season will take place over the next 3 weeks. And for the first time in 20 years, I will not be on the startline!

At the end of 2012 I decided it was time to retire from being a full-time athlete and move onto pastures new. I’ve raced slalom since I was 11 years old, been on a GB age-group team since 16, and represented GB at senior World Championship level for the last 14 seasons. If I had the same chance, I’d try to do it all again. But it’s only now that I can look back and appreciate how hard I trained and how devoted I was in order to win medals at European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

I’m taking a bit of a ‘gap year’ during which I’m doing my best to make up for all the holidays I’ve never taken. And I’ll consider my options for a future career. However, my passion is being outside doing sports, so I’ve not exactly been relaxing. I’ve been doing a fair bit of running and mountain biking and entering lots of adventure races. These consist of a variety of formats, but will always involve off-road running, mountain biking and having to navigate your own way around the course to electronic checkpoints with a map and compass, usually over several hours. I enjoy the strategy side of trying to navigate, finding the checkpoints and choosing what kit to use.

The big races are longer and can last for several days, racing non-stop in some very remote locations. They will also include kayaking, which I guess would be my strong point! I’m yet to enter one of these, but if I do, the Water-to -Go bottle could come in very handy. Rather than running with a whole day’s worth of fresh drinking water, competitors try to find streams to drink from. It’ll be nice to have peace of mind that my water will be safe to drink out of the Water-to-Go bottle.”

Campbell Walsh – April 2013

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