Athlete Interview: Sean McFarlane

Sean McFarlane was our first ever Starman winner. Whilst he’d never taken part in a night triathlon before, he has some pretty significant wins under his belt, inlcuding Anglian Ironman-distance Triathlon, Craggy Island, Scottish Off Road Championships, and the Artemis Quadrathlon. He has also been runner up at races such as Celtman, Brutal, City to Summit, Coast to Coast (Scotland), Coast to Coast (Ireland), and Olympusman. Below he tells us how he got on at our first ever event:

Starman: What inspired you to take part in Starman?

Sean: The race format and location. Overnight multi-sport racing in the Cairngorms – that’s seriously hard to beat.

Starman: How did you train for it?

Sean: The usual longer distance triathlon training but no specific night-time stuff.

Starman: What training tips do you have for our first-timers this year?

Sean: Think about doing a practise swim or two at night with others in a safe environment. It’s very much the weirdest and, as such, for some the scariest part of the whole event. Get good lights (obviously!) but also be fully used to both how they work and using them. Lots of people turn up and use fancy lights for the first time – yep me too!

Starman: What was the best part?

Sean: There were lots of highlights. Setting up in the dark was novel and exciting but also took a lot longer than usual, so I almost missed the briefing! The swim was such a unique experience that it was hard not to love it. Biking overnight through the Cairngorms was just so special and remarkably mild, too. I tried to have a blether towards the end of it with a marshal but it turned out to be Jaz Hepburn who in his true PE teacher style told me to stop messing about and get on with it! If asked to pick a highlight, it would have to be the unforgettable sunrise whilst coming off Cairngorm and seeing how far away Meall a’Bhuachaillie was!

Starman: What was the worst part?

Sean: Nothing was bad. Almost losing my bike light at the start the bike leg wasn’t great and entirely my fault. The last 5 miles or so with a flat tyre didn’t help but in saying that it was a gradual ascent do didn’t really affect me much.

Starman: Would you doing it again?

Sean: Absolutely. I had planned on doing a unique double by doing Aberfeldy half straight afterwards but I took far longer than I’d hoped and was knackered!! Someone far better than me should give it a go though, and I suspect one day will.

Sean works as a journalist and film producer in outdoor sports media as a journalist and film producer, and also runs sports management company Athletico Management, juggling a busy career with an incredible training regime. We look forward to welcoming you back Sean!

Author: The Starman

Set in the mighty Cairngorms National Park this is going to be a sleepless, tough, intimidating and wild triathlon under the stars.