Mark Buckingham – 2014 British Elite Triathlon Champion and four times British Duathlon Champion (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2015). Member of the British Triathlon Team. Runner, turned Cyclist, turned Triathlete.
I first took up Triathlon 5 years ago and since then have been to 2x World Championships, won the British Triathlon title, Super Series and 4 British Duathlon Championships. I’m not going to lie I’ve been really lucky and visited some great places and met some fantastic people.
Over the last year, since people hearing my story of racing top flight Triathlon having not had a swim background I’ve been asked to share my tips and write some coaching sessions here and there. I’ve always wanted to coach athletes and use my experiecne to help others achieve their goals. This year I have completed my British Triathlon Coaching Award so now feel comfortable doing this. For more info see my coaching page.
I started running for Holmfirth Harriers AC at the age of 6. My first love was fell running and I won the national championships four times as a junior, representing England twelve times, including 3 World Trophy Championships. I have won the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships as a senior and have represented Great Britain at the 2004 European Cross Country Championships, winning a bronze team medal.
On the road I have won a number of races and was the winner and course record holder of the London Mini Marathon back in 2003. In 2010 I represented England in a 10-mile road race in Bern, Switzerland, finishing first British athlete. Track & Field was my least favoured discipline for many years, but I still managed to win County, Regional and four National titles, three for the Steeplechase as a Junior in 2003/4, U23 2005 and the 3,000m in 2004. I have also represented Great Britain at various events including the World Junior Championships in Italy, the European U23 Championships in Germany and the World University Games in Turkey.
After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2006, I was awarded a sports scholarship at Florida State University. Here I was a member of the team that won the National Collegiate Athletics Association Championships in 2008 and subsequently met President Bush at the White House with my teammates. Sadly a stress fracture at the NCAA Championships meant I was unable to run for about twelve months. So joined Huddersfield Star Wheelers in 2009 and started road racing, quickly moving from a 4th Cat to 2nd Cat and then did a couple of races in the Premier Calendar and two Premier Criteriums.
In 2010 I decided to try a Duathlon and after winning a silver medal at the age group championships, then contested the Elite Championships finishing third behind Tim Don and Will Clarke, and gained selection for the Great Britain team at the European Championships in Nancy, France.
British Triathlon showed faith in my ability and selected me for the World Duathlon Championships. I entered my first Triathlon – the Elite race at the London Triathlon where I was working (like so many others I was working full time back then and training and racing around work). After coming out of the water in 61st (out of 70), moved up to 46th after the bike, and finished in 28th place.
In September 2010, I went to Florida for a short holiday and whilst there contested my second triathlon – The Escape to Miami Triathlon. Hiring a bike the previous day, we were taken to Escape Island at 5.45am by ferry, started the race at 7am as the sun rose, arriving on Miami Beach in 5th place, finishing the bike course in 3rd place and won the race by more than 5 minutes in 2 hrs 3 mins 44 secs on a very hot day.
I am an Ambassador for sporting charity, the Wells Sports Foundation. This involves me attending and getting involved in grassroots sports events at schools, sports clubs and community organisations to inspire more young people to get active.
The Wells Sports Foundation has been created and is entirely funded by successful entrepreneur and sporting philanthropist, Barrie Wells, to provide financial and motivational support to grassroots sports projects to create a legacy for sport. The Foundation’s aim is to make a difference by promoting good health and healthy recreation, to motivate and encourage young people to participate in sport.
Through my role as an Ambassador, I would wish to attract more young people to sport by giving young people an insight into my new life as a triathlete and demonstrating the benefits and fun that can be had by trying out lots of different sports and to use my coaching skills to run some small group sessions in schools. I’m also a qualified Athletics Coach (Level 2) with UK Athletics.