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Ian Williams aka Fetch

B.B. - Member of the Month August 2009

Fetch says: Once you've dragged yourself away from the amazingly cool picture, read up on runner-turned-triathlete B.B., who also came up with the idea for the very first Fetch Mile, and ran the London Marathon in a mankini before it became compulsory to do so :-) B.B. wins £100 of goodies from our sponsor, SimplyRun.co.uk.

HappyG(rrr) wrote: Which came first, swim, bike or run? Many congrats at being top of your sport! :-)G

B.B. says: For me it was run. Which came first ever... bike was last - you don't see too many cavemen on Cervélos or Treks. I think we originated from plankton, so swimming was first I suppose. And thanks - very generous. Top is slightly misleading, but I'll take any praise!

santababy wrote: Well done BB:) Thanks for *inventing* the fetch mile, it was an inspired idea! Did you expect it to take off in way it did? What made you make move into Tri world?

B.B. says: Inventing is also a bit generous... It was an idea that sprung from the 'Sub 5-min mile' thread. I didn't know many mile races, so thought we should host one... at the track a mile from my house, naturally! I didn't have any idea it would take off all round the country like it did. I was just delighted that we had such a big turnout at Tooting that cold day in December - with both fast folk like the winners that day, Rach and JEJ, and other not so fast folk. The fact that so many other races took off around the country is due to the spirit and open mindedness (and viral nature!) of the Fetch community. Why did I move to triathlon? Well... I was a bit goalless after the five World Marathon Majors. Also I didn't particularly enjoy training for and racing Berlin (the final one) as much as the others. My rate of improvement had really slowed, and a new challenge was what I needed to perk myself up and get me out of bed and training early in the morning. Triathlon proved to be that challenge when chatting with a couple of other guys at my running club and deciding to enter the London sprint. It took off from there, really.

GregP wrote: Pull buoys - useful training aid, or the root cause of many triathletes struggling in the swim if wetsuits are banned?

B.B. says: I don't use them, but I think they can be useful. To blame them for people swimming like bricks is missing the point a bit though! Try lessons...

More of a Tortoise wrote: congrats :) Gobi: saint or sinner?

B.B. says: Both, clearly. To me he's been a saint though.

BigChiefRunningBore wrote: Well done YMB, does it feel odd winning for your Tri-boy efforts and not your King of the Road running feats? Plus as a Manc B*stard are you now even more smug?

B.B. says: Cheers YSB. I don't think I've ever been King of the Road, so no. Plus as a manc b*stard, I'm always smug (we have plenty of reasons to be, after all)

BigChiefRunningBore wrote: Oh and Is that helmet you wear for the tri really from the Boba Frett costume from Star Wars?

B.B. says: Yes. How did you know?

Rach E wrote: Sod this GB crap. You need a proper target. When are you going to pull your finger out and beat my 10k pb?

B.B. says: If/when I start running full time again, it's going down in a plume of smoke. We both know that.

Sophster wrote: How did it feel to cross the line to complete your five world marathon majors?

B.B. says: At the time it was slightly anti-climactic as I had a rubbish race in Berlin. As anyone who was around Fetch at the time will know, I was really hoping/expecting to go sub-3 in the finale, but it just wasn't to be. I knew it from halfway in the race as well, so sort of sulked through the second half. But looking back it is a great thing to have done, and I am really proud. I managed to PB at all of them, so can't ask for too much more. I have some great memories of each of the races, for all sorts of different reasons.

Dave A wrote: Congrats mate, a well overdue acheivment. Whens the sub 3 marathon happening? It can't be far away. And when are you gonna beat Jock?

B.B. says: Cheers Dave. The sub-3 will happen at some point, but I'm in no rush. I'm doing VLM next year, but won't be marathon-specific training for it due to Ironman in July, so that won't be the opportunity. I'm confident that when I do get round to focusing on the marathon I will do it. I think I would have gone sub-3 at Frankfurt last year if I wasn't a bit ill. I felt rubbish but still got a PB in 3.05. I know what I need to do in my training to achieve it, and every year of reasonable volume training that goes in the tank helps. Time's on my side, after all. Which brings me neatly onto Jock... he knows that I own his face. Reading Half Marathon 2007. We need no more evidence that that.

*Anj* wrote: Congrats BB :) am very chuffed for you. I remember when we first met at the first ever Star & Banana, oh how times have changed. Were you always a bit of a sporty lad? and what did you excel at most when at school?

B.B. says: I was always quite sporty. Football, hockey (!!), tennis, cricket, X-country etc. But jack of all trades, master of none... I was reasonable but not great at any of them. I started golf at the age of 13 and by 16 realised that I was good enough and enjoyed it enough to focus most of my attention on that. I get a lot of stick for being a golfer from certain folk on here, but there's something highly addictive about it - I love it and hate it, but will always keep going back for more punishment until I'm old and wrinkly!

Fat Dave wrote: Congratulations! What's a better achievement - GB selection, or making Brendan Foster completely lose his train of thought?

B.B. says: It was Steve Cram, I believe. But yes, the latter, definitely.

Siamese Pete wrote: Let's talk proper sport. What's your favourite golf course? Callaway HX or Titleist Pro-V? .......Well done:)

B.B. says: Of the courses I've played, I'd say Sunningdale or Valderrama. Awesome. And Titleist all the way for me. The HX responds well, and spins like crazy, but it just feels brick-like off the putter and chipping.

controversial wrote: Well done, 2 questions how does it feel to win MOTM later than some dodgy french man??? how long do you train a week for your tri? Does it take more time than lets say marathon training?

B.B. says: If it bothered me, I'd be a little concerned. I'd be more bothered if I was a dodgy French man that wore flat caps and skinny ties. This year I was training between about 8 and 12 hours per week. For ironman next year it'll start at that for about 3 months then build up to 14+, I think. For my marathon training I got up to months of 250 miles, which works out at about 8 hours per week. So yeah, it's more time, and a lot more double days. But it's not as intensive due to bike and swim being lower impact, so the higher volume is manageable. I don't think I could handle 100+mpw running, but I can handle the equivalent volume of tri training.

JulesR wrote: What page of the question thread do you think we'll get to before someone mentions the oh-so-predictable mankini run?

B.B. says: Surprisingly little mention of it. Thankfully!

DaveH wrote: Well done mate - When you were chest high in the River Pang at the annual steeplechase did you ever think you'd take up a sport that combines running and swimming? Or were you just thinking about how bl**dy stupid it was to be in a river in February like the rest of us?

B.B. says: The latter, definitely. It was freezing!

Joopsy wrote: Scousers - should they be banned from the site or just eradicated in general?

B.B. says: Definitely not eradicated in general or banned from the site - we need them as a reference point. If times are tough, then think of them to realise it could be worse, and they're always good for a giggle. Come back when you've won 18 and all that.

Doctor K wrote: Who's your favourite all time runner (apart from yourself of course) ?

B.B. says: From a British perspective then Linford Christie and Paula Radcliffe, and internationally Haile Geb and Usain Bolt. That's four, not one, isn't it! If I was to pick one, then I have to say Bolt. I can't think of a runner that is more compelling to watch, and puts a smile on my face.

Mudskipper wrote: Choc milkshake or SIS Recovery?

B.B. says: Choc milk is very tasty. I use Maximuscle Recovermax for recovery after long runs/rides. Not as tasty as choc milk, but more good stuff in it. FGS is nice as well, but not so much helpful bits and bobs in it.

Hills of Death (HOD) wrote: Well done BB it's been a while coming :) Now serious question first Will you return to beat the sub 3 Mara or will you just continue down the Tri route (which of course you are burning up the competition on !!)

B.B. says: See my answer to Dave A above. I think I will, but I don't have any mid term plans to do so. I have my schedule for 2010, with Ironman Germany as my MOAAR (Mother of all A races), and it's difficult to think beyond that. I suspect I will come back to focus on Olympic tri and maybe half ironman the following year to see what I can do. There's no rush for the marathon and I know what I need to do, as I've got lots of reference points from people I know that have made that step up to sub-3.

neems22 wrote: Well done BB, well deserved :-) What's the most challenging aspect of triathlon training and the events themselves? Also, are you planning to do an Ironman in the future and if so, which one and why?

B.B. says: The most challenging aspect to training is fitting it all in! That's why a lot of triathletes overtrain and don't take regular rest. The hardest part of the events is defintely the washing machine of the mass swim starts. Sometimes it's fine... others it's pretty rough! And yes - I'm doing Ironman Germany in Frankfurt next year (4 July)

A bet MADE me wrote: hey congrats on the monthly award :) My question as always is food related - as I am rather partial to a good feed myself... so what would be your favourite 3 (or 4) course meal and where in the World would you gobble it down!!?

B.B. says: A bit of a random question!! I'd probably say a Thai or Japanese meal. Can't beat a good Thai curry, preferably on a beach somewhere a million miles from London.

Jock Itch wrote: ha ha !! This must be a joke right ?? :) Made my day ;) Whats your all-time fave butt plug ?

B.B. says: Moving swiftly on. Must still be bitter from the devastating beating I handed down at Reading.

TRO Saracen wrote: IMDE 2010: would like me and the rest of us to hang about after we've finished and cheer you in?

B.B. says: Yes please. With a cold beer if you don't mind. I'm slightly concerned that the volume of training you and AJPAR are doing this winter means that you'll be an hour or two ahead of me!

Ellem wrote: Well done BB. What's your ultimate goal in Triathlon? Hope you have a blast in the Gold Coast :-)

B.B. says: Ultimate goal - well, I'd love to qualify for Ironman Hawaii, but that's unrealistic unless I gave up work and took it up full time for 5 years! So realistic near time goal is to stay fit and complete Ironman Germany in one piece and in a good time (shan't say what the target is, as I haven't quite figured it out yet), and beyond that I'd like to get involved with the GB team in future world champs events. I had a great time at the Gold Coast, and the race showed that I've made the progress to not be completely out of place.

SherryB wrote: Wow, congratulations - who's your sporting hero?

B.B. says: Not one but three. It has to be United number 7's: from what I've heard about from my old man and old clips, then George Best. He was untouchable. Forget Pele, this guy was the best ever. From my childhood, then Eric Cantona. What he did was incredible - the knack of scoring important goals is the sign of a true great and he laid the foundation of the years of success that have followed. And from recent years and seeing in the flesh, then it has to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Clearly not everyone's cup of tea, but I look beyond the preening, tantrums, tears and play acting and see a guy that is head and shoulders the best player in the world. When he got the ball you just knew something special was going to happen. Viva Ronaldo.

Somebody wrote: Yay! What's the one piece of kit you couldn't cope without?

B.B. says: Doing a triathlon without a bike would be challenging to say the least.

JulesR wrote: Have you got a training plan for Ironman next Summer or are you just going to tell Ms BB 'I'm popping out training - back in 6 months'?

B.B. says: Not yet, but I'm working on it. The latter is clearly a factor to limit the volume! The extra 30 mins that doing 20 hours per week training would get me isn't worth it. It's meant to be fun, after all.

CB. wrote: About bloody time too !!!! Well Done B.B. :-) HAve you given up on a sub three now then ?

B.B. says: No - see answers above. One day!

Woffy wrote: How do you fit in all the training and still have time to spend with family and friends? Training - pleasure or pain?

B.B. says: I don't do mega amounts of training to be fair, so I think I have the balance about right. I go out drinking a lot less than I used to, but I really don't mind that. My family, friends and most importantly girlfriend are very supportive, which helps. Training is a pleasure. If it wasn't, why on earth do we do it?? Races are great, but the reason I do all this is because I love training, I love the lifestyle and being healthy. The minute it becomes a chore is the time to move on to something else. That's why I moved on from just doing marathons.

Jock Itch wrote: Why did you change your name from Bellend Bouncer to B.B. ?

B.B. says: Because I was sick and tired of you bullying me, baldy.

Hamsterboy wrote: How fast were you at school? Well done btw :P

B.B. says: I was always terrible at sprinting, but reasonable at X-country. Never did any road racing before 2005 though, so don't really know. And thanks!

Argie wrote: well done B.B. in the interests of science I wondered if you could answer the following question that has for sometime (like minutes) been bothering me... what would you rather eat and why- beaver or porcupine?

B.B. says: Beaver. I imagine porcupine might stick in the throat a bit. Not a fan of lots of pricks.

No.8 ™ wrote: How can you be an AG triathlete and still have hairy legs, but you were the only one on the Gold Coast? What's your prefered tri distance, what's the future and what's your fave tri training session? Congratulations by the way!

B.B. says: I think I may have been the only one at the Gold Coast, but I still have my dignity. So far I've only done sprint and Olympic, so have to say Olympic. The future is Ironman next year, and probably back down to Olympic after that. Fave training session is without doubt the long bike ride. I don't particularly like 3hr/20 mile training runs from marathon training (haven't done one for a year!), but I love being out on the bike for 5 hours.

Peacey wrote: Well done mate. Fav ever United game? Sod the running chat :-)

B.B. says: I agree - much more interesting. If I had been there, then I'd say 99 in the Nou Camp. But I wasn't so I have to say a toss up between the Barcelona semi final in 2008 at Old Trafford, which was agony, but amazing... the best atmosphere I've ever experienced, and the final in Moscow, which was a game that had everything. I can't choose between the two.

Deenzy wrote: Congratulations mate, it's a bit strange you finally winning for triathlon reasons, but better late than never! Huge respect to what you have achieved in Tri in such a short space of time and I know there is a lot more to come including more GB suits, I'm just worried that I won't be able to keep up with you in training anymore unless I install an engine or something! My question is how on earth do you manage to work, swim, bike, run, play golf, travel to ManYoo games and talk about bike porn and triathlons a lot and not get killed by your girlfriend? That deserves a medal on it's own surely??!! Well done again

B.B. says: Cheers dude. I don't think you have any worries about keeping up - you know how I like to train slow ;). Regarding how I fit it all in... Two things I try and do is run/cycle to work as much as possible - that's a massive timesaver. I also try and train early in the morning and not eat into evening time. I've given up my united season ticket because of Ironman next year (I can get tickets to most games if I want anyway), and I do a lot less talking about stuff on here. But it's difficult, and it's very easy to get obsessed by triathlon training / thinking about it. I get told off frequently!

boulders wrote: In your estemed opinion ... Sir.. what is the best way to get into Tri?

B.B. says: Just do it, is what I say! A lot of runners dismiss it because of the swimming / all the kit etc, but it's really doable. The swimming is not so bad - there's plenty of people breaststroking at the back which is perfectly acceptable, and you can get all the kit relatively cheaply if you search hard (but be warned - it can be expensive if you get excited by shiny carbon stuff!!). In terms of which sport is it best to come into it from, well I think running. It's a big boost to know that, as a runner, your strongest event is at the end of the race when most others are struggling.

Gobi wrote: B.gbPOOF - Now that you have had a jolly to Oz are you going to get your life in order and sort out that sub 3 Marathon?

B.B. says: Maybe someday, G-Lard. See above...

Pammie wrote: What is your ultimate ambition?

B.B. says: To be fit and healthy and enjoy life. I like setting goals along the way, so next year it's Ironman, but in the grand scheme of things that's just a way of staying healthy and having fun

Snapstinget wrote: You've got the car, you've got the mankini, you've done Oz. Where is there to go from here?

B.B. says: Who knows?? But I had to change the car to something a little more practical for triathlon kit, so maybe I'm already on the downward spiral

Enthusiastic! wrote: Many congratulations on this much deserved accolade :-) Jedi Knight, The Dark Side or The Rebel Alliance?

B.B. says: Easy... Red Army

John66 wrote: Well done - about time When you lived in Putney were you not tempted to convert to the mighty whites? Are both Jock and Contro better than you?

B.B. says: I've never lived in Putney, for starters! It's impossible to change football team alliance, old man, but an ex was a Fulham fan, so I went to Craven Cottage loads a few years back, and have a (very small) soft spot for them. Jock and Contro are not better than me. I spanked Jock at Reading HM in 2007 and Contro in the Fetch mile last year. Case closed.

Max71 wrote: Could you please post some photos of your sisters. They are hot. Well done by the way.

B.B. says: No, but thanks.

Keefy Beefy wrote: Every thought of adopting Serge's "Initial B.B." as your own personal theme? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuZklVrHspM

B.B. says: All the time, actually.

SarahL wrote: Well done BB - totally awesome :) If you could choose the colour of the England tri kit - what colour would you choose. Oh and would you opt to have your name on your arse?! :)

B.B. says: Errr... It's GB, and it's blue. That'll do for me. And yes, I had my name on my backside (we were told we had to )

AJPAR wrote: Well done Beebers. Is having a TT bike, Zipp wheels and a cock lid cheating?

B.B. says: A little bit, but only as much as having a sparkling new Trek Madone, you cheeky blighter

Max71 wrote: What was the last thing you paid for online?

B.B. says: My sister's 30th birthday present

Max71 wrote: Jennifer Anderson or Courtney Cox?

B.B. says: Who's Jennifer Anderson??

Max71 wrote: Michael Jackson Genius and musical legend or nutter paedo?

B.B. says: Musical legend (with issues). Off to see This Is It tonight...

Hanneke wrote: Yay! At last, you won MOM... Now, when are we going to have this ride off TT lap around Richmond Park? And who do you think will win, you or me? And if we did a two-up effort, how high do you think we could get into the Bikeradar league for a RP TT time???

B.B. says: When I'm fit again! Give me a shout when you're in London next. Right now I think you'd win as I've lost all my fitness after having a month off - when both fit it would be close! I haven't looked at the bike radar league for ages, and there are some superfast guys on there, so we'd place well, but nowhere near the very top.

Girlie wrote: Congratulations on winning MOTM:-) My Question is: Which of the 5 majors was you favourite and why?

B.B. says: Great question. I loved them all for different reasons. I'd probably say Boston, for it's a race steeped in history and a very challenging course. The conditions were horrible when I did it, so it was probably the toughest race I've done, but to dig deep and PB at the end was special to me.

Tpod wrote: Well done. What is your favourite root vegetable?

B.B. says: The carrot

Sunbed Athlete wrote: If you could do the tri-athlon in a different order what would you do it in?? Many congrats & well deserving

B.B. says: Run - bike - swim. That way I'd see what it's like a bit nearer the sharp end, rather than overtaking everyone at the end. Swim would be tough when tired though! And getting the wetsuit on during the race would be something

JohnJ wrote: Well Done Bertie Bigones. Q: What was the hardest thing you had to sacrifice to allow you to train enough to reach your peak?

B.B. says: Errr.... Not eat so much rubbish??

Mrs BooBoo LaBoy wrote: Would you ever pace me round a marathon again?? I'm glad you have FINALLY won :-) x

B.B. says: Maybe, but the first time was so funny I'm not sure it could be beaten for entertainment value.

Q Mac wrote: What was their first race and were they hooked afterwards?

B.B. says: My first ever race was a half marathon in December 2004, but I wasn't a runner and hated it as a result (really, really stupid idea to do it on no training, in tennis shoes and a cotton t-shirt). My first 'proper' race was the British 10K in 2005, which I did in 41.33. I wouldn't say I was hooked, as whilst it was a great course, the organisation was shambolic. I was hooked after the New York marathon in 2005. Whilst I had a tough race after hitting the wall at mile 17, I loved it and then had a marathon time to better.

Big Al Widepants wrote: Which is the most painful of the sections of the tri?

B.B. says: In my experience, if you pace it right, then only the run should hurt. If you pace it wrong then the run will really hurt as well as whatever you got wrong before. That's only for short stuff. I'm expecting it all to hurt at Ironman distance

DuncanG wrote: Have you seen the size of Neil Ruddock these days?

B.B. says: Nope - has he got even bigger??

Hills of Death (HOD) wrote: What's your favourite Tri Training Session And what Sprint/Olympic/HIM/IM would you recommend as a must

B.B. says: I like long bikes the best. Cycling is fun. Of the races I've done, I'd say London Duathlon and Windsor Triathlon (Olympic) are musts. Also if you're a beginner then you must do one of the Dorney Lake sprints - a great intro to the sport

Hills of Death (HOD) wrote: Rio Past it or Past master

B.B. says: He's got plenty left to give, but needs to get his fitness back if he's to get out of this poor run of form he's in at the moment. It's been a little concerning for a player with such talent

Snapstinget wrote: Are you going to take boxing lessons?

B.B. says: No. Why??

SarahL wrote: Well done BB. Did I already ask you a question?

B.B. says: Yes! A strange one about colour of tri suits.

SarahL wrote: If not, tell me about your swimming? When did you learn to swim? How much have you improved? What sort of times were you doing for 1500mts when you first started and what's the number one tip you have for improving? Thank you! :):):)

B.B. says: I'll answer this anyway. I could always 'swim' (i.e. not drown), but I first started swimming properly last year when I started triathlon. I managed OK in my first year of sprints, but only made progress after starting lessons earlier this year. I've progressed a lot - really pleased with it. Before having lessons I think my 1500m time would have been about 31-32 mins, and I got down to 24.30 or so by the end of the season. There's no single tip for improving... lots of fundamentals you have to get right!! I need to swim more to get faster though - but I get bored easily. Looking at the bottom of a pool is boring.

frangale wrote: Congratulations:) Why did you move on to triathlons from running, was that always your plan or did you want to 'up the challenge'

B.B. says: It wasn't always the plan at all. In fact I took part in a tri relay team (doing the run leg) in a race a couple of years ago, and thought it looked like a ridiculous sport - the thought of getting into a lake with all these people trying to kick your head in was not appealing! But as I said above, I got a bit bored of training for marathons, and entered a sprint with a mate from running club, and it went from there. Upping the challenge is definitely part of it.

KatieB wrote: has anyone asked about his helmet? I'm too dizzy to read back...if they haven't asked about it...then, why?

B.B. says: There have been a couple of comments, but nobody asking why! They're aerodynamic and proven to be the best bang for the buck in terms of saving time. And you get to look like a prat, which us traithletes love more than anything.

AJPAR wrote: Are the rumours true?

B.B. says: Which ones?? Some are true, and some not...

CornishEva wrote: Do you know James Woodward :-) He was competing for Team GB in the Gold Coast too! Well done, BTW.

B.B. says: I don't, no. There were 250 or so in the GB team, so don't know many of them. I see he was about 30 secs faster than me from the results - and from the splits looks to be a very good cyclist and not so great swimmer!

Skunk wrote: orca or 2xu?

B.B. says: Bit of a random question! Both excellent brands I think. I've got Orca wetsuit and tri suit / 2 piece, but they both do good kit.

Fetch says: And there you go - all done. Thanks to B.B. for his answerage, and to the rest of you for the usual high standard of questioning that we've all become accustomed to :-)