Here at BRAV were all about the journey… We are inspired by other people’s journeys that have gotten them to their own goals … We want to know all about it … And share it with the rest of the world …
When we put it out to the masses that we were looking for an ambassador for our brand, we knew that we wanted someone that had an incredible story. We were looking for someone that could demonstrate a certain level of dedication, focus and a willingness to succeed. We were not looking to just give anybody a bag of socks to go out there and help push our brand – we wanted someone with a story. We weren’t looking for the fastest runner, the quickest swimmer, we were looking for someone who has gone the extra distance, gone that extra mile, and done something quite exceptional.
Its not easy, and for many it really isn’t. For some, those around them seem to be handed the gift of sport and fitness, whereas the reality of it for many, the sheer amount of effort put in to get them where they want to be is beyond comprehension- its a tale of grit, determination and focus…. This is Carson’s story.
Carson started his journey in the summer of 2015 with the simple purchase of a road bike. He weighed in at 17 stone and was seriously unfit. For anyone who has or has wanted to lose weight, it can really be a battle, a real big battle, and getting to grips with the situation can be a mammoth task. The prospect of taking part in any form of exercise, for many in the early days can be quite daunting, and it’s probably the furthest thing from their minds, especially when thoughts of the stereotypical gym set are racing through one’s mind. “What would people think of me?….or “Can I actually do this?” Carson had seem photographs that had been taken of him, and this a compounded this issue, it was going to be a lot of work, and he knew he needed to do something, so weight loss was his primary goal.
Watching what he ate, and getting out on the bike as often as he could, he immediately caught the cycling bug and within just 2 months, he’d completed his first ever 100 mile Sportive. This was down to sheer hard work, determination and the new love of simply getting out there and riding his bike.
After shifting a little bit of weight and not being content with just one sport, Carson wanted to push himself even harder – he needed a bigger challenge. So, after researching it he signed up for the Cardiff Sprint Triathlon and got to work training. With a good winter’s training under his belt, he took part in a variety of different races throughout 2016 including 2 duathlons, 2 half marathons, the Wales Velothon and 7 Sprint distance Triathlons all the while losing a further 2 stone. In the Winter of 2016, he decided to join a local triathlon club Cardiff Triathletes, and made further progress with his early season results in 2017 by taking 23 minutes off his 2016 time at the Mumbles Duathlon, 9 minutes off his time at the Swansea Triathlon and losing a further stone and a half. I think its fair to say he had well and truly caught the bug!
Loving the social side of being part of a triathlon club and training with friends spurred Carson on to look at the longer distances. In the early part of 2017 he completed his first Olympic distance Triathlon in the Cotswolds, whilst later in that year completing the full distance, swim and bike sections of the Long Course Weekend in Tenby followed by the Brutal Half Marathon, and finishing off the year with his biggest achievement to date completing his first Half Ironman distance event in Weymouth with a very respectable time.
Now weighing in at just 12 and a half stone he hopes to push on into this year with aims of doing the Cotswold 113 and tackling the Weymouth Half Ironman course again. Carson’s journey so far has been incredible and there is so much more to come, we are sure of that. Friends and family have helped him get this far as well as having pure guts and plenty of determination to succeed, which we are sure he will enjoy for years to come.
At BRAV we couldn’t be prouder to have Carson help us promote the brand, and we look forward to following his continued success in the chose sport of triathlon.
My name is Marc Duelsen and I am a German professional triathlete, specialising on middle and long distance races or to put it simple: IRONMAN!
My professional career as triathlete is still relatively young. However, I was always passionate about sports. Growing up, I competed at white-water kayaking but sadly had to quit it because nearly everyone grew bigger and taller than me. My body just could not keep up with my ambition, and at the age of 18 I finally made it to the world of endurance sports. I joined the local track and field team and specialised in middle distance runs, especially steeplechase.
In 2010, a friend of mine asked me if I could imagine competing in a local triathlon. I agreed, knowing that the swimming would be a catastrophic endeavour as I couldn’t crawl at all. I swam my first competition therefore fully breaststroke. Luckily, the bike and running parts were lot much fun and my split-times were excellent. I’ve been hooked on triathlon ever since… and I learned how to swim.
In contrast to many other professionals in the IRONMAN circus, I did not “graduate” from shorter distances, I rather recognized straightaway that the longer distances were just made for me. Just one year after nearly drowning in a local swimming pool during my first triathlon, I qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships Hawaii as an amateur during IRONMAN Frankfurt 2011.
After crossing the finish line on Ali’i Drive, Kona in third place of my age-group, the next step was clear to me: Become a professional athlete and work tirelessly to come back to Kona for the World Championships as one of the best 50 male triathletes in the world.
As you can imagine, the journey was long and tough: hard training sessions, waiving, looking for sponsorships, and so forth. My first win at Ironman Wales 2016 was definitely a key moment that I will cherish forever as it was the step stone for the qualification for Kona 2017.
My dream finally came true and then started off as a nightmare. I got kicked very hard in the ribs, thought about quitting, breaststroked (like in the very early days…) and left the water dead last. However, I did not give up; the journey was just too long to call it quits here. So after a nearly perfect bike leg and one of my best marathons in a competition, I finished in 18th place, knowing that much more would have been possible on that day. This result makes me hungry for more!
My first contact to BRAV? I visited the IRONMAN village in Tenby, Wales in 2016 right before the race and I saw the socks with the “angry bear”. After my victory, I decided to buy one pair as a remembrance for this special day.
It was the start of a great relationship: I received 3 other pairs as a Christmas gift and via social media, the cooperation started to kick-off. The longer I wear them; the more I’m convinced that these socks are perfect. The “angry bear” stands for the necessary aggression that is required for long trainings and races. The “BRAV Rockets” stand for power in the legs and the “BRAV Ghosts” is just a perfect reflection that one should not take everything too serious and don’t forget the fun side of the sport. All my feelings during trainings and races are therefore “on my socks” as well. Lots of competitors and fans have asked me which socks I am wearing and I can always proudly respond and recommend “BRAV”.
Do you have an amazing story? Submit your journey here…