James Cunnama

James Cunnama

Challenge Roth Champion

James is a professional triathlete from South Africa competing in long course, Ironman, and Ironman 70.3 triathlons. James started out as a keen long distance runner. He was bitten by the triathlon bug after working as a volunteer at an Ironman race in 2005. This encounter with one of the world's toughest single day endurance events opened James to a new world, and he was hooked.

Since then, James has competed all over the world, winning multiple Ironman 70.3 and Ironman races.

What is your proudest sporting achievement?

Race results immediately spring to mind, but actually I am most proud that I am a professional athlete. It sounds all mushy, but I had many career options and opportunities but instead I took risks and made sacrifices in the belief I could be a top-level Pro. And I stuck to it when there were easier options. Regardless of what I win in my career, I will always be proud of that.

What is your proudest non-sporting achievement? 

Without a doubt, my son, Jack, is the thing I am most proud of. Beaming with pride most of the time actually. Maybe thats not really an 'achievement', but he is the thing I am most proud of.

What do you enjoy most about riding bikes?

I most enjoy the places my bike takes me. I started as a runner, and your world is small as a runner - about 10km radius from home generally. Once you're on a bike, that 'training world' is ten times bigger. My first 100km ride blew my mind with the places I had been in one ride. I still get that feeling riding new roads, over new passes, through new countries, although the rides are often much longer than 100km now...

What do you find most challenging about riding bikes?

The travel. When I just ran you could pack your normal stuff, throw in some shorts and shoes, and you were set to run anywhere. With a bike there is bike packing, airline fees, taxis that don't fit the bike, hotels that aren't bike friendly, etc. It's a drag. But so worth it when you get out on those new roads...

What is your favourite Cervélo bike? Why?

I can hardly look past the Cervelo P5X - it is the super-bike that every athlete dreams of owning. Fast, comfortable, easy to work with. If you pushed me for a bike that isn't my 'daily work' bike, then definitely the Cervélo C5. The freedom to ride anywhere, on any terrain, with a comfortable, light, responsive bike is every bike riders' dream. I mostly use it to ride to the pool and back, and usually take the long way round...

What are your goals this year?

The main goal for 2018 is to improve on 5th at Kona last year. En route to this goal though is a title defence at Ironman Hamburg and a 'home' World Champs race with Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa.