▲ A winning team: Bella and Stephen Bayliss have been competing in triathlon events for several years and have had many successes as part of The Bike Boutique team. Photo cortesy Team TBB
Team TBB (The Bike Boutique) is made up of 28 athletes from all over the world. Three times a year these outrageously fit individuals meet around the world to train in hopes of winning the big one—an Ironman World Championship medal; a competition held in Hawaii.
The team spent some time on Jeju, training for this year’s Ironman World Championships. Head coach of team TBB, Brett Sutton, has praised Jeju’s training facilities himself, and said: “I would tell the locals how fantastic their facilities were […] they just don’t realize what they’ve got.”
Members of Team TBB also participated in this year’s 2nd Beautiful Jeju International Marathon, held at Gimnyeong beach, which raised money for struggling families in Southeast Asia. Community-based work is something all members of Team TBB are required to participate in, and they currently hold development camps with children around the world, including workshops in Brazil and the Philippines.
Jeju Weekly had the opportunity to interview British athletes Stephen Bayliss, 30, and Bella Bayliss, 31, who married little less than year ago, and who are both professional triathlon competitors with Team TBB.
How long have you been competing in triathlons? Bella: I have been doing triathlons for 15 years and trained with TeamTBB since it began 3 years ago. Stephen: Doing triathlon for 18 years and trained with TeamTBB for 3 years.
How did you decide to become professional and what changed in your lifestyle? Bella: Since the age of 10 I have been really keen on sport. Over the years I became more and more serious. At the age of 17 I was introduced to triathlon. From the moment I did my first triathlon I became addicted. I started with short races and as years went on I increased the distance I raced. In 2002 I raced my first Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run). I have now won 15 Ironman titles and I love what I do. Stephen: I have always competed in sports, from football at school, and then various team sports and individual sports, ‘til I think I have found my sport, which is Ironman triathlons.
What makes Team TBB special, how is it different from other teams? Bella: Team TBB is special because there are not many "teams" in triathlon. We are a team of international athletes coached by the same coach. We all train hard together to push each other to be the best that we can be.
Why train with a team and not alone? Bella: In our team we have the best coach in the world. Brett has created a team of athletes that are really motivated to train hard and give everything to achieve great results. Training alongside other motivated athletes really helps to push us to our limits to make us strong and the best that we can be. What does it take in a person to compete in triathlons and win? Bella: You have to love what you are doing. I think you need to be determined to achieve great things, determined to work very hard, be patient and smart. Stephen: I think some people need to have competition in their life, and they enjoy it and thrive on it. If you love doing the sport and love the competition, then it all is fun.
How has Jeju prepared you for the Ironman World Championship? Bella: In 2008 Team TBB came to train in Jeju pre-Hawaii. Our time in Jeju worked really well. We were all able to train really well. Jeju has the perfect weather conditions at this time of year, for our preparations for Hawaii. The roads here in Jeju are great- so smooth, and not very busy with traffic. There are lots of hilly roads and flat roads, its perfect. In 2008 Team TBB had great results at the World Championships so we came back again this year.
Are there any misconceptions you find people have about triathlons? Bella: Triathlon is not as well-known as some sports like football, golf and tennis, so people just don’t really know about it. It is becoming more well-known and popular all the time. Training for swimming, biking and running is a great way to get fit. There are triathlons of all distances- really short ones, up to Ironman. Stephen: Ironman is a distance of triathlon, it is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycling and 2km running, all completed one straight after the other as fast as you can. The men’s winning time is often around 8hrs 20min, the women’s winning time is often around 9hrs 20min.
To learn more about Team TBB and read their blogs you can visit their website at www.teamtbb.com.
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