Since finishing 17th at the 2012 London Olympics, South African Richard Murray has gone from a relative unknown to one of the biggest stars in the ITU ranks. The 27-year old has been perhaps the most consistent triathlete in the world not named Javier GÃ³mez over the past two seasons, and he kicked off his 2016 campaign with a second-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi in March. We checked in with Murray in Australia while he gets ready for the second round of the 2016 ITU WTS at the Gold Coast on April 9.
What’s your favorite country other than South Africa and why?
Spain and France—in the Pyrenees. The culture, people and environment is something amazing and I really love it. It’s relaxed in Spain and people seem to not be as stressed as other countries.
What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to food (or booze)?
Pizza, ice lollies, Haribo sweets and KFC when back in RSA.
What are the best and worst movies you’ve seen in the past year?
Hmmm…movies…. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of bad ones lately. I only watch movies in the sky when traveling. Usually I can’t even remember the names.
What do you miss most about South Africa when you’re away from home?
Happy people; an ease of life and freedom. South Africa has so much to offer, and when overseas, I’ve noticed that it’s not about how much you have or where you’re spending it, but how a place feels and the environment. We have a lot of diversity back home and I think that’s really something that keeps it interesting and fun.
If you weren’t a professional triathlete, what would you be doing for a living?
I think I would perhaps be a carpenter, a coach, or a mentor or personal trainer—helping people to lose weight or become fit at facilities such as Virgin Active in South Africa. I love to see progress and this must be the reason why I like these types of fields… small steps to make something great .
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Know your worthâ€ – Tim Don. As an athlete we need to sell ourselves and this stuck with me.
“Stop duathlon and become a triathlete.â€ – Elmer Kniting.
Where is one place you’d most like to visit that you’ve never been?
Greece, the Amazon and Argentina . There are a few islands I wish to visit, like Jamaica, the Seychelles and Bermuda.
What’s the hardest workout you’ve ever done?
Probably a bike workout, where we a did 20-minute time trial up a hill. I did 395 watts average and that was VERY painful. Also some swim sets in Mallorca at the start of the JFT camp… some 1:15/100-meter send-offs were on the cards and my fitness was not really there, so I got 1-2 seconds rest after each 100 for about 3-4K
What song gets you more pumped up than any other?
Dubstep and melodic dubstep . This type of music gets me going and is good before a major event!
If you win a medal in Rio, describe what kind of party you would throw when you got back to South Africa…
I would not really throw a big party. For me the sheer enjoyment I would get from a win in Rio would be enough. I’m not much of a boaster or someone who needs a lot of praise. Perhaps a braai ” BBQ” with good friends and family would be in order… KISS… “keep is simple stupidâ€ haha!