The former dual World Duathlon champion, Richard Murray has had a huge rise in 2012 in the world of triathlon. He has had 3 podiums at WTS events; a 2nd in Sydney, 3rd in San Diego, before out sprinting Javier Gomez in for the win in Hamburg 2 weeks ago (running 14:05 for 5km). Murray is considered as the one of the few men to be able to match the Brownlee’s when it comes to the run around Hyde Park this Tuesday for the men’s Olympic Triathlon, which no doubt be an amazing spectacle. Alex has been working as the physio for Richard on and off over the last few months and spent some time with him ahead of Tuesday’s big race:
1. Tell me a little bit about the South African selection policy for triathlon, how you qualified and when you found out you were selected?
The Selection policy changed with South Africa from a ranking of top20 in the Olympic Ranking to top 47 around the time of Sydney World Series event . I knew that I would just need to improve as much as possibe to make the Olympic squad in order to put myself in a position that I would guarantee my selection.
2. When you did guarantee your selection, where did you travel to and what were some key elements that you chose in order to get ready for London?
I was only real sure that I had qualified after my good event in San Diego . My federation and Olympic committee only really told me on the 4th July . I went from Wollongong to San Diego for the world series races and arrived a few weeks before events to acclimatize . This helped a fair share to get myself ready. I then travelled to Germany and then as you know, to Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, where I have been up until heading to the Olympic village!
3. Are there any specific areas you are targeting in the lead up that you felt you needed to progress?
Well after the Kitzbuehel race and my bout of 10 days of sickness I realized that I needed to work on a few areas, swimming being the biggest of them . With a bad swim, and tired body after Kitzbuehl, I set about putting myself back together in Spain- Vitoria Gasteiz with the Australia Triathlon crew.
4. Does the London course and/or the competition require any specific targeting in training?
Swimming being a 1500m straight course and only left turns, it is one of the most important things to work on, which I have done a lot. The bike is quite normal with a 6km loop and some left corners which training should be geared around . In the end, you need to be ready for anything on the 7th August, will be wild !
5. Why have you chosen Vitoria for your preparation for London?
6. What does Vitoria and the environment have that other centres do not?
Vitoria is a very quiet part of Spain, with some of the best cycling/running and facilities made available ! A motivated and focused coach is one of the biggest draw cards for me and I really think my season has benefited from these conditions. Having you here as well, knowing so much about the in’s and out’s of the Sport and how it apply’s to the body is very unique, so thank you.
7. My pleasure mate! How long have you been dreaming of going to the Olympics and has this been the goal over the last few years?
Since the age of 7 or 8 at primary school , I was drawing the Olympic Rings and getting into running at an early age has certainly driven this. The realization on getting to the games only came for me after I was told on the 4th of July , when I realized I had made the Olympic Qualification, which was a special moment.
8. The Brownlee’s are obviously quite strong at the moment, do you feel that they can be beaten in London and what would it take?
Well, that is the question everyone is asking, I haven’t raced against them in top form apart from San Diego against J.Brownlee . I think that on the 7th August things could go in their favor, as they have organised a group of athletes to make a break on the swim and bike . There is no doubt in my mind that I will give every ounce of energy in my body to get the best possible result on the day. I will work as hard as possible to make sure I have a fair run with the Broownlee’s off of the bike.
9. Finally, you must be happy with your result on the win in Hamburg on the weekend, where you out sprinted Gomez for the win. What effect has this had on you both physically and mentally?
With a good training month, and no racing, It helped me to be fresh for Hamburg . Hamburg was one of events I have been looking forward to the whole season. At the games It will be an Olympic and while Hamburg was a sprint, so it is hard to say that the race will transfer to a race double the distance… That said, I do think I as in the best form of my life and it has given me a lot of confidence going forward!!
10. Thanks again for taking the time to have a chat Richard, I look forward to seeing you again in Vitoria and Wollongong!
Thanks Alex, was great chatting… and next season Im sure I will be seeing you around in Oz and Espana!
A big thank you to @MartinPieters, Martin Pieters the photographer