Matt Earles’ Theatre of Dreams – The Duathlon European Championships
After hundreds of pupils raced around the Berkhamsted assault course for Girls Active Week, there was only one name they could expect to see on top of the staff leaderboard – Mr Earles.
Matt Earles, is the manager of Centenary Theatre. He is in charge of the school’s sound and lighting provision for everything from music and drama performances, assemblies and talks to external bookings with local and national appeal. Additionally his role involves supporting GCSE and A Level students on drama courses and giving pupils the opportunity to learn and experience the industry.
Matt, who turns 42 this year, will compete for Great Britain at the 2017 Duathlon European Championships on 30 April. The competition involves a gruelling 10k run, 40k bike ride, followed by a second 5k run taking place in Soria, near Madrid.
“The course has some fierce elevation, much like the Chiltern Hills I’m used to training on. I’ve been monitoring the Spanish weather so I know what to expect, but it will never be as tough as the arctic conditions I faced for qualifying (Oulton Park, Cheshire in October). “
Matt’s progression in his sporting career has come at a substantial rate, making the transition from Boxing ring to chain ring. Completely new to cycling, he entered his first local competition in 2013 – the Berkhamsted Triathlon. He was 39 when his Duathlon adventure began the following year, and now he will compete among Europe’s elite for the second time having also experienced the World Championships in 2016.”
“I never imagined I would get to this level and represent Great Britain, not in my wildness dreams and every time I put on the kit I am filled with immense pride. The opening ceremony is when it becomes real, it really is special.
“A lot of people come into the sport from a running background, but both cycling and running are still relatively new to me. I made the transitions from amateur boxing, and I do attribute much of my endurance and recovery from this training and the attributes I bring from boxing.”
“Duathlon has been described as triathlon’s younger cousin, but in many ways it is much tougher. Running is always the most dreaded discipline, and in Duathlon you have to do it twice, when your body can barely stand it once. The final stage is like you are running with a bear on your back.”
Matt’s seven day-a-week training schedule illustrates the level commitment it takes to race for Great Britain. There are no financial rewards for his efforts; in fact, he is faced with securing support to fund the specialist equipment, the massages to keep him injury free, the travel, and the serious amount of high protein food and nutrients to replace the thousands of calories he burns every session.
Everyone at school wishes Matt the very best of luck, spectators can look out for him donning the GB vest complete with the famous Berkhamsted School Crest on race day.
Follow Matt’s progress
Sponsor Matt – Matt is currently looking for support from local businesses ahead of the 2018 World Championships, if you think you could support or work with matt then please do get in touch with him