Triathlon 2018: An Interview with Lars Holm

Posted 23 July 2018

Lars Holm - Global Senior Manager CSR at Dentsu Aegis Network (and this year's triathlon sponsors) is someone who has achieved triathlon success by taking part in various competitions each year, as well as our own. We spoke to him about his first race, key tips and why he recommends taking part this September.

Why are Dentsu Sponsoring the Media Trust Triathlon again this year?

Dentsu Aegis Network have sponsored the triathlon since 2015, and we do this to support Media Trust’s work that gives a huge return, enabling thousands of charities, communities and young people to improve their communications and achieve their goals. All funds raised through contestants’ entry fees help UK charities develop their voice, raise their profile and share the impact of their work.  It has been such an amazing feeling to see the Media Trust Triathlon grow year on year, to be one of the biggest industry sports events in London, where we come together in friendly competition whilst contributing to a worthwhile cause through fundraising.

Tell us your triathlon C.V…

I typically have a couple of big races in my diary each year, a half marathon or triathlon. It is a great way to challenge myself, and it provides a lot of motivation to get the training sessions fitted into a busy daily life. The Media Trust Triathlon is my preferred event of the year – I get to compete in a sport I enjoy, and I know that my entry fee goes directly to Media Trust as a donation, helping them achieve great impact in society.

What was your first triathlon experience?

I trained 3 times each week and tried to fit in a session of swimming, cycling and running. I felt in good shape ahead of the race, but I must admit that I felt utterly unprepared on the day, when I saw all other contestants packing out their expensive gear and looking very experienced in how they set up and got ready for the race.

But my rented wetsuit, rented bike and old running shoes did me well – I finished in the top 10, and it was an amazing feeling to have completed an Olympic triathlon. At the end of the day, I had a real sense of achievement, and was already thinking about how to optimise my race transitions, cycling intensity, etc., for a better result in my next triathlon event… It was an amazing day.

Team Dentsu Aegis Network participating in a previous triathlon

The Media Trust Triathlon has since been the main sporting event for our industry in London, with hundreds taking part each year, and that is the highlight for me.

Any highlights from a previous Media Trust Triathlon?

We had high expectations ahead of the inaugural Media Trust Triathlon in 2015, bringing people from the industry together to fundraise for a great cause, whilst competing against colleagues and peers. As a sponsor of the event, I was thrilled to see more 600 people there on the day, having fun and really enjoying the competition and the day out.

The Media Trust Triathlon has since been the main sporting event for our industry in London, with hundreds taking part each year, and that is the highlight for me. We are making a real impact through the fundraising for Media Trust each year. Last year alone we managed to fundraise £25,000!

How important is it to promote health and wellbeing within an organisation?

Keeping healthy keeps me going. We all live busy lives, but I try prioritising my 2-3 times a week for exercise, even if that means a late Sunday night run or an early morning swim. I am definitely able to work more efficiently and generally feel in a better mood when I am in shape.  At Dentsu Aegis Network, health and wellbeing are also prioritised. For instance, we have a run club with a running coach twice a week, where everyone is invited for an hour’s run in Regents Park just next to our biggest London office.

How do you train or practice before a race? 

Living in central London, it is relatively easy to find a public swimming pool and a nearby park for running. For cycling, though, the traffic is a bit of an issue. I either go cycling in the early morning on weekends (before 8am!) or bring the bike with me on the train to somewhere outside London, where there is less traffic. It does take some effort to get ready for a triathlon, but it is important not to accelerate your training too fast, or you will get an annoying injury. Just take it easy and listen to your own body, is my simple advice…

Finally, any words of encouragement for anyone taking part for the first time or considering it?

If you need training motivation for the summer, the Media Trust Triathlon is for you. A friendly competition for the media and advertising industry that raises crucial funds for Media Trust, in their support of charities and communities.

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