A conversation with Chris Humphris, PrimaLoft®’s Iron Man
Here at PrimaLoft®, we work in the outdoor industry, so many of our team members and colleagues are sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Some are a bit more than enthusiasts, they are super-enthusiasts.
We’ve profiled our super-enthusiast friends and colleagues here on the PrimaLoft® blog in the past (from the realms of ultrarunning, trail running, and showshoeing) and we’re always inspired by their incredible adventures – and epic stamina.
Our colleague and friend from across the pond, Chris Humphris, is no exception. He’s such an unassuming guy that we never realized he had been training for - and had just completed - an Iron Man long distance triathlon in Wales, UK until we ran into him at our Global Sales Meeting last week in Manchester, VT. Here’s his story:
Q. For those of us who aren’t completely familiar with the Iron Man, please describe for us the race components, what’s involved, where & when the event took place.
A. An Ironman is a long distance triathlon race, the competitor starts with a 2.4 mile swim, then straight into a 112 mile cycle followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles. Overall the distance is 140.6 miles to be completed in the fastest time possible. My race was Ironman Wales in the UK, just this past September. 1500 people started the race with a mass running start into the welsh sea!
Q. Was this your first ultra-running competition?
A. It was my first long distance triathlon competition, the first of many I hope!
Q. Why were you interested in competing in the Iron Man?
A. It was the challenge that really appealed to me, something different to anything I had ever tried before. The distances seemed kind of overwhelming in the beginning, and because of that I knew the journey would be difficult but rewarding.
Q. Has ‘Iron Man’ become your new nickname among friends?
A. (*Laughs*)...I hope not! And hopefully I don't go on about it too much to friends, but the race comes up frequently in conversation. There's a joke I think is relevant, “How do you know if an ironman's at your party? Don't worry they'll tell you!”
Q. What did your training regimen involve, and how long have you been training for this event?
A. Swim a bit, run a bit, cycle a lot! ... In reality a big part of the challenge was to find time to train while maintaining family life and work/travel commitments. I averaged about 10 hours a week over the past year. I'm confident that now I have some experience of the training needs I can make a more efficient job of training for the next race to go faster!
Q. We understand you wore socks made with PrimaLoft® YARN for the race, how did they perform?
A. Yes, not only during the race. But throughout my training too over hundreds of hours in total. They are not only high performance but importantly they are comfortable and incredibly durable in use and in washing, which there is a lot of!
Q. Did you walk away from the race blister-free due to the socks? Is this a noteworthy occurrence? If so, please explain.
A. I did! The softness and the improved moisture management of the PrimaLoft® YARN means the socks remain comfortable for longer and importantly they remain dryer than alternative yarns for the hours of use in the marathon. It all results in less friction and ultimately no blisters for me! A very welcome result.
Q. What other differences did you notice while wearing socks made with PrimaLoft® YARN during competition?
A. When you're on the go for over 12 hours everything needs to be tried and tested and total trusted well before race day. My confidence in the PrimaLoft® socks was built over a year of use in training. The winning advantage of the socks was ultimately the fact that they never caused me any problems, they just performed both during actual use, right through to the ease of aftercare. The highest accolade I can give to the socks is that I never even had to think about them during the race, they just worked and kept me totally comfortable so I could perform without distraction.
Q. Which sock in particular did you wear during your training & competition?
A. It was a Lands End performance sock.
Q. How did your competitors fare with regard to blisters?
A. Blister problems are a common problem in these races, because of quick transitions between the disciplines you sometimes wear the socks for a long time, moisture and heat builds up and causes discomfort, hotspots and blisters most of the time athletes suck it up as a price you pay to complete the distance.
Q. What are your next goals involving competitive sports?
A. I have caught the long distance triathlon bug, I'm already planning on my next Ironman in July 2013, the goal is go much faster next time!
Q. Will you continue wearing socks made with PrimaLoft® YARN?
A. When you find something that works so well you stick with it, I know I will!
- Interview conducted by Diane O’Connor
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