“Tri Tim” Aiming for Triathlon Success after Life Transformation
Laguna Phuket Golf Club director Tim Haddon teed-off on the biggest challenge of his life earlier this year when he decided to get fit enough to take on the Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) – no mean feat for an overweight diabetic with a history of heart attacks.
Now his life-changing challenge reaches its climax at the triathlon start line tomorrow morning, Sunday 27 November, after a six-month life-changing odyssey that has transformed Tim into a self-confessed fitness freak.
Under the personal supervision of trainer Darren Hancock, General Manager of RPM Health Club, on a programme designed around triathlon’s disciplines of swimming, cycling and running, Tim has shed more than 12 kg and achieved fitness goals previously beyond his wildest imagination.
“It’s been tough, but greatly enjoyable because there have been tangible benefits along the way,” says Tim.
“The hardest part was probably deciding to do it in the first place – but once I got over that particular hurdle and began the journey there was no turning back.”
Australian Tim, aged 43, confesses that he’s always been overweight and only indulged in basic forms of exercise as a child, apart from playing golf which became his chosen profession.
However, his weight spiraled to 114kg and despite being a non-smoker and teetotaller, Tim’s health began to suffer. He developed Type 2 diabetes and a heart problem – with both conditions controlled by a daily cocktail of 17 different medications.
As an “occasional member” of RPM Health Club he was no stranger to the inside of a gym but lacked the impetus and a goal to make it work.
That changed when a conversation in May with Darren and fellow gym member Debbie Dionysius, Event Director of the Laguna Phuket triathlons, got him thinking the unthinkable – to get fit enough to do a triathlon.
Once the decision was made everything started to come together – and the “Tri Tim” project was born.
From the programme’s initial months of weight reduction and basic training, to triathlon-specific disciplines and endurance training, Tim has kept doggedly at the pursuit of his dream.
“I won’t pretend that it’s all been plain sailing. There were glitches in September when a combination of sickness, business travel and a knee injury knocked my programme off-kilter,” he says.
“But the value of following a dedicated programme with a trainer such as Darren is that your new-found mental discipline quickly gets you back into the groove.
Even when I took my holiday in July, travelling with the family back to Australia, I stuck to my diet and kept up my training.”
Tim cites a number of fitness achievements along the way as great encouragements – the highlight being his conquering of LPT’s fearsome Naithon hills on the bike course at his first attempt in September.
And for good measure, he followed that up days later by successfully climbing the Ao Po hills on the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship bike course!
Tim’s transformed physical condition has been accompanied by a welcome improvement in his health, with the result that a number of his medications have been greatly reduced in strength or ditched altogether.
He’s now immersed in all things fitness, with a dedication to good diet and a fondness for triathlon magazines.
“When I look back at how I was during last year’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon it’s hard to believe I’ll be lining up at the swim start this year alongside hundreds of seasoned triathletes,” he says.
“I wouldn’t have managed to get here without all the time and effort that Darren put into everything along the way.
“It’s been a long, hard journey and I’m relishing putting everything together to complete my first triathlon.
“But this is a life journey and I’m sure there will be more to come in the future.”
So look out for “Tri Tim” tomorrow and give him every encouragement to cross the finish line!