William Tommy, A New Competitor

What sports are you currently involved in? 

My first passion was golf – at a young age, that’s where I imagined a future lay, but that required some deep pockets and relocation. 

At my present age I should be toning it down, but I’m really hooked on triathlon. I’m inspired by local fellow triathletes like Kevin Henderson for his amazing achievements in the Iron Man competitions in New Zealand, and others such as Roland Neururer and Mike Carr because of their longevity in the sport. 

I’ve also taken an interest in running through a chance encounter. I entered the Cross Island Nutters run in 2016, and happened to meet the record holder Greg Gustafson who to this day still holds the record for the run of 45 minutes, and we became good friends.  


What do you enjoy about your sport? 

Some days in a race or a competition or in practice, one discipline could work out so much better than the other and that’s just how triathlon is. Quite possibly, all 3 could suck for you, or you could have a great swim and a disastrous cycle and an average run or any myriad of combinations. Triathlon is the only sport I know like this. 

The individual disciplines within triathlon can be quite technical, and there’s a lot to learn. I’ve had to do a lot of work on my freestyle technique with help from the experienced Ironman himself, Kevin Henderson. I also try surround myself with the best – the current Triathlon Mob are great for that. They have their hidden competitive sides but are always rooting for you. 


How will you be involved in the Cook Islands Games this year? 

If my work schedule permits, I’d like to do the individual triathlon, mountain bike and cycling road race. I’ve been cycling for a while but until very recently couldn’t swim to save myself, so never considered doing an individual triathlon in the Cook Island Games. 

I’ll be representing Akatokamanava/Mauke. My daughter Caitlyn was my inspiration, she was one of Mauke’s boxers in the last Games and held her own in some tough fights. 

I’m joining this year so Mauke can retain its title as the Champs - not that I figure my results will make a major difference, but just to be part of the end result. I anticipate my whole family will be involved helping or competing, even my mum will be doing her share for our beloved Mauke.  


How are you preparing for the Cook Island Games? 

One of my weaknesses is that I tend to overthink things, so my philosophy in 2022 is “it is what it is”, which is particularly important given how crazy this year has been so far. I want to keep things simple – on the day, I’m thinking about leaving it all out on the court, on the field, the road, or the lagoon.   

I’m currently doing a lot of training for other events; I have the Ariki adventure race in sight after first trying it out with my friend Roly Rolleston, and I have a score to settle with the Round Raro 10km as I was too sick to race in 2021. 

I think an important part of training and preparing for any event is surrounding yourself with the right people, so you’ve got to be grateful for your friends and family that support your sane or insane endeavors.