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The Sam Laidlow project: The big secret to his success, and what makes his journey different

Sam Laidlow shares the importance of family and building your own environment following his IRONMAN World Championship win in Nice.

Staff Reporter
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Sam Laidlow achieved the improbable on September 10 when he became the youngest ever IRONMAN World Champion at the tender age of 24.

After finishing second last year in Kona, the PTO World #5 had a rocky season in 2023, with DNF’s coupled with injury problems raising question marks over his form in the weeks leading up to the race in the South of France.

However, the Frenchman, who is coached by his father Richard Laidlow, produced the race of a lifetime to win on the Promenade de Anglais and write himself into the record books, with a performance he says would not have been possible without the family-centric training environment he has created.

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It takes a village for Laidlow

Whilst filming with the PTO, Laidlow gave an insight into why his family is so important to his training, with the support from his parents and wider team extending beyond the help of his father’s coaching and consisting of a inextricably linked support network.

“I am a big believer in creating your environment and I think first of all, the only people who believe in you from the start are probably your parents, so I started with my family and then created a team that just got bigger and bigger.

“From there, you then obviously start employing your physio, your doctor, your manager, which takes real skill to try and convince them to have confidence in your project, but I think what separates my journey from anyone else is the fact that I am trying to do it with my Dad.”

Investing in the project

For Laidlow, when it comes to racing now, win or lose, he is doing it not only for himself, but for his whole family. Their motivation is his motivation and it is this connection that makes wins like Nice even sweeter after all the combined hard work.

“My parents invested a lot in this project and obviously still do now. I don’t just want it for me, I want it for my family and for us to win the IRONMAN World Championship and stand on top of the world. My family really is my strength.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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