TOKEN TALKS : Gareth Harrington

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“I grew up in the outdoors with most holidays spent in the Eastern Cape on a family farm. Sport was a way of life in my family from water polo, swimming to running, rugby and cricket.”

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Gareth Harrington  3We are doing a series of interviews called ‘TOKEN Talks’ with people in the Token family. Gareth Harrington of  Team Jeep, South Africa is the first one in the hot seat. Gareth, a physiotherapist by trade, has recently joined the Token family as our South African distributor and is helping to spread the word about Token in his region. Gareth races competitively and was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share with us what he values most in life and what inspires him. He also mentioned he is a big fan of braai (BBQ), wine and coffee. For those who understand South African culture you will probably agree that this statement alone shows Gareth is firmly grounded in his South African roots.

If you are living and riding in South Africa and you’d like to get in touch with Gareth about Token or maybe get together and grill some meat, you will find Gareth’s contact details at the end of this interview.

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The Basics

AfricaName : Gareth Harrington

D.O.B. : 19.01.1984

Nationality : South African

Height & Weight : 181cm / 72kg

Team : Team Jeep South Africa

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How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

“Different, Fun, Chilled.”

What are your race results for the past year?

  • 2nd age cat 25-29 70.3 SA and 3rd age grouper
  • Qualified and competed at 70.3 Wold Champs but punctured.
  • 4th at Knysna Big 5 Multi sport festival
  • 1st Albert Falls Trail Run
  • KZN (regional) Champ Duathlon overall win
  • 3rd Xterra SA champs 25-29
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Family Life

Cape_Town_Jun_09_s compress 136

“A highlight of the year is always standing on the start line of SA 70.3 with my father.”

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Tell us a little about your family life.  What things do you enjoy doing with your family when you are not racing or training?

“I am still single but make annual holidays back to Cape town to visit my family who are very sports orientated. I then swim with my sister, run or ride with my dad and indulge in the typical South African activity of braaing (BBQing). A highlight of the year is always standing on the start line of SA 70.3 with my father.”

Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up.

“I was born in Cape Town South Africa, and grew up in the outdoors with most holidays spent in the Eastern Cape on a family farm. Sport was a way of life in my family from water polo, swimming to running, rugby and cricket.”

What are your hobbies and interests outside of cycling?

“Trail running, open water swimming, the beach, comedy shows, bonsai trees, rugby and my work.”

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Inspiration

“Don’t ask for an easier life; ask to be a stronger person.” 

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Gareth Harrington  1What or who inspires you?

“I love philosophy and quotes, my dad and family have always been a huge inspiration to me and very supportive over the years.”

What’s your favorite quote?

“Don’t ask for an easier life; ask to be a stronger person.”

“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of living and not by our standard of life; by our measure of giving, not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness; not by seeming greatness.” 

Who is your hero? Why?

“My parents, hard working people that appreciate the small things in life. Stick together in tough times and gave there everything to me and my sisters over the years. Massive love and respect.”

What is your dream?

“I consider a man a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. That is my dream.”

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Something Different

“I would love to be Superman. I always wanted to wear my underpants over my pants.”

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SupermanWhat’s your favourite colour?

“Red.”

What’s your favourite movie?

“Men of Honour.”

If you won US$20,000,000 what would you do with it?

“Ride my bikes with my friends all day, drink coffee after red wine and a braai?? No seriously, try help people, make a difference in people’s lives, contribute to conserving South Africas amazing animals and wild life and repay my folks somehow.”

What makes you angry?

The poaching and abuse of animals in our beautiful country SA. South African politics.” 

“Selfishness, dishonesty and arrogance.”

Gareth Harrington  2If you could be any super hero, who would you be? Why?

“Superman, always wanted to wear my underpants over my pants.”

Tell us something embarrassing that happened to you.

“There are plenty. I had a trisuit split down the crotch while racing an off road tri, lets just say it was very well ventilated that day.”

“Also on my TT bike I had to fly to a race, when building the bike I forgot to tighten the headset, first corner of luckily the training ride the day before the first corner came and I rode straight into the bushes, no matter how much I tried to turn it was not happening.”

Tell us about a really happy moment in your life.

“There have been heaps, when hard work pays off, time with family and friends.”

Have you ever done anything crazy in your life? Tell us about it.

“Plenty, shark cage diving, sky diving and burning down a house by mistake.”

What kind of cell phone do you have?

“Blackberry.”

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Training & Nutrition

“I learnt to always take more than you may need! ” 

“Practice what you are going to use on race day in training!”

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What does your training schedule look like?  Tell us how often you train, how you train and where you train.

“I stay in KZN, training is scheduled around work and seeing my patients and calling on shops.”

“Usually Monday is an easy swim after a big weekend, Tuesday an early bike before work, with a run in the evening, Wednesday a bike before work and a lunch time swim if I can. Thursday is again cycling before work with a run in the evening. Friday Rest, then Saturdays a longer ride with run off the bike and maybe a swim if nothing social planned (need balance) then Sunday is usually a longer run.”

What’s your favourite food?

“I eat lots of everything, but I love our traditional Braai in South Africa. An African barbeque.”

What’s your least favourite food?

Braai

“Fish I guess.”

What’s your favourite drink?

“Red wine and coffee come in tied here!”

What do you eat before a big race?

Usually oats.”

What do you eat after a race?

“Everything I see!”

Have you ever made any mistakes with your nutrition?  If yes, what was it and what did you learn from it?

“Haha plenty! I remember one day when I had just started riding and I set off with one water bottle on my longest ride at that stage, 3 whole hours. after an hour my water was finished and we were in the middle of nowhere, after 2 I remember having to be pushed and pulled along by various training partners all the way home. I learnt to always take more than you may need!”

What do you eat/drink while riding?

“I am lucky enough to be sponsored by GU South Africa so they cover my training and race day nutrition.”

Do you have any tips on nutrition or training that you would like to share?

“Practice what you are going to use on race day in training! In the long events like 70.3 and IM you do not know what your stomachs reaction will be to a new product, stick to what you know the day before and on race days!”

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Token Africa

Thanks again to Gareth for taking the time to answer our questions. If you would like to get in touch with Gareth regarding Token, racing or braais, you can contact him using the information below. Gareth also manages his own blog titled, “Living This” and writes about all kinds of topics on cycling, health and life in general. Well worth checking out.

AfricaToken Africa : Gareth Harrington

T : 0822941299 (Mobile)

E : gharrington@live.co.za

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/TokenAfrica

Twitter : @tokenafrica

Gareth’s Personal Blog : http://living-this.com

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