Mad Hatter from Mad Hatter

Meet the Mad Hatter from Mad Hatter Sports

For this week’s blog, we were joined by the incredible John Yelland to talk about his personal connection with Triathlon and swimming and how he went from an OK athlete to Co-founder and Co-owner of Mad Hatter Sports Events.

Why do you swim?

“So there's a couple of answers to that. I think the first one is to train. So I typically swim to train to compete, I'm not very good, but you have to train at least some way to compete. So whether that's triathlon, swim run and swimming events I train to compete. The other aspects are for health and fitness and for the social side. So we've got a group of people who we swim with, ranging from between 5 to about 30-40 of us and swim on a regular basis, and we all have coffee and cake afterwards. And it's nice and we just kind of go and explore places but also, it's kind of like

“where should we go this weekend?”

“Ohh well, there's a lovely little Cove I found. Let's go there and explore and jump off some rocks and you know, go through some caves and things like that so that those are the two kind of..”

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Do you think the social side of swimming helps when things are feeling a bit heavy?

“Yeah, totally. You know, there's things that go on in everybody's lives that they kind of need to take a step away from and get back away from and stuff. And that social group is just, we're all a bit. We're all a bit nuts, if you like. So it's just good fun. There's never any kind of like, how you feeling or no one ever asked that. It's just like, let's just go and swim and have a good laugh.”


What is your favourite thing about competing?

If I'm racing in an event where they're swimming, so in triathlon, swim run or whatever, I genuinely for the first four or five minutes. I genuinely hate it. I think. What am I doing here? but then you relax and you get into it and you know, I think for me it's the feeling is I'm doing something.

At the end of it, it's the same with running. I get running and I'm all the way around. I hate this. What am I doing this for? But then you finish. You’re like? Ohh, quite enjoyed that. But yeah, the taking part in events is more of a I want to push myself to challenge myself to be faster than last time.”


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What’s your biggest achievement?

“So the first one back in 2012/2013, I signed up to do an Ironman for charity. Never done a triathlon before, never swam in the sea or in the pool before, never cycle before, really. So sign up to do an Ironman triathlon and after a lot of training I did it and that was that was an incredible feeling. You know, to finish and to raised £6000 for charity at the same time. So that was all great.

The second one in swim-run, I've managed to with a partner with a few races. Because they've been really good athletes and I just go along for the ride. But to actually win something from being an OK athlete to being a winner is a really nice feeling, cause you're very rarely win stuff. But to win stuff is really nice. Now people know my name. It's like, ohh. He won. You know that that is just. That's amazing feeling.”


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