Nutri-Grain Ironman, athlete and Springfree Ambassador Luke Cuff is a great role model for the outdoor, healthy and active lifestyle we embrace and encourage at Springfree
Luke has been busy the past few months, competing all over the world! He achieved great results in both Hawaii and Santa Monica recently, including setting new PB’s! We caught up with Luke between races to chat about life, sport, and what’s next for the active role model.
Luke, congratulations on your achievements in Hawaii earlier this month – you were competing in Maui for a weekend of Waterman racing – can you tell us more about that?
"I really loved my time in Maui! It was a full weekend of Waterman racing on a beautiful beach on the north coast of Maui. The best ironmen and women from around the Hawaiian island and the world attended. The racing consisted of everything from outrigger paddling, to swim and prone board paddling and also stand-up paddling. The races ended up being very difficult, as I had never actually competed in some of the disciplines that we were racing in, (including stand up paddle boarding & outrigger canoeing). There were 5 individual races on the Saturday and 6 individual races on the Sunday, with the last event being the 'Ultimate Waterman.’
"The Ultimate Waterman included swimming, ski paddling, OC1, board paddling and stand-up paddling. I finished this UW in 2nd place against some of Australia's and Hawaii's best Waterman, which secured me 3rd place overall on the standings for the weekend. This was a huge achievement for me and I truly enjoyed this style of racing for how difficult it was. This was my first hit-out at the Waterman series races and I absolutely loved it."
You also just finished a Paddleboard Race in Santa Monica, you finished race 2 in 1st place – how did you go for the rest?
"The Santa Monica race was again a little in different style, with the race just being a pure paddleboard race. The morning competition was a 10km distance paddle, where I took out 1st place in front of America’s national paddler Jack Bark and Australia's Nick Malcolm. The afternoon’s race was tough also, with an M-shaped sprint course. But I’m happy to say I took the win for this also. Adding the points together, I came away with 1st place for the Santa Monica Pier paddle challenge. This event was amazing, the public absolutely loved it and it was one of the busiest beaches I have seen! A huge tourist attraction."
You’ve been jet setting all over the globe this year, what’s that been like for you?
"This year was a little different for me. After travelling all over the country for races, I decided to mix things up a bit and reach out to America’s summer races and see which ones I could pick off. So far so good! It is challenging and fun at the same time - even though you are traveling and sight-seeing you have to always remember you are there to do a job and get the job done well."
It takes such a high level of athleticism to get yourself in shape for just one of these events, but you seem to be running them pretty much back to back at the moment – how do you manage that? Does it take extra training and conditioning?
"The training has come from our competition season and it just about maintains what I'm doing, while having fun at the same time. Our season is so long that it is very easy to burn out and get injured with the type of training we do. It a balance between long distance and sprint training in the on-season, which leaves you quite fit all year round. I just have to keep topping the training up as I'm going along and try not to get injured. And of course, I look after my body as much as possible."
What’s next for you?
"My next race is back in the USA in August! I am heading up to Portland, Oregon where I will be jumping in a windy gorge and paddling down-stream with the wind and the swell through a tricky and rocky 8 mile course! We will be changing our equipment to possibly have inflatable craft and may also be going over river rapids during the race. Safety first! I'm really looking forward to this one and getting some cool photos / videos at the same time!"
You’ve been smashing all your goals, what’s next in your sights to achieve?
"I would really like to venture a little more into the Waterman side of things while racing, there are so many opportunities coming up. With this style of racing, there are races all over the world and I think it's a new challenge - I know so many talented men who are smashing it. It's a new motivation I guess and I'm looking forward to trying to knock them off and become an all-round talented racer who is having fun and smashing goals along the way!"
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