Freelance writer and author Simon Griffiths has launched Tzero, a website for triathletes of all ages and abilities.
The majority of the site’s content is user generated, but Simon aims to maintain quality through tight editorial control. Articles include race reports, book reviews, how to guides and product reviews written by triathletes for triathletes.
PR professionals are invited to get involved by suggesting interesting triathlon related stories, images and products to review, and competition prizes. To find out more about the motives behind the launch and the audience the site will serve, we spoke to Simon Griffiths:
What inspired you to launch Tzero?
I did my first triathlon about 20 years ago. Then, after a break of many years because of working abroad and family, started training again a few years back. It’s amazing how much the sport has grown and developed in that time and how it now appeals to people of all ages and abilities. I love the enthusiasm that all triathletes have for their sport and really feel that everyone involved has skills, experiences and knowledge that they could share and therefore support and encourage other people. I wanted to create something to facilitate that.
What’s different about it?
With Tzero I wanted to create a space for well-written, informative and inspiring content about triathlon and its constituent sports of swimming, running and cycling. The focus is really on people sharing what they know and love about the sport in a thoughtful and intelligent way.
What do PRs need to know about the site and how it works?
We love to hear inspirational stories related to triathlon and other related feats of endurance. These may be attempts to complete some crazy challenge (often with a charitable angle) to ordinary people turning their health and fitness around to tackle a beginners’ event. We’re also happy to review triathlon related products and services.
What can you tell us about your readers, and how are they involved in the site?
The site is relatively new but it’s already attracted readers from around the world, especially the US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. However, the majority of readers are in the UK. Clearly all are interested in triathlon. We have one reader who’s agreed for Tzero to follow his progress as he trains for his first Ironman triathlon later this year. We’ve also had contributions from paratriathletes, someone who completed Ironman Barcelona last year while minimising his carbon footprint and another who completed Ironman UK with just 17 seconds to spare before the disqualification cut-off.
What part of the site are you proudest of/most excited by?
I’m really excited by other people’s stories and adventures and it’s great to have a means to share those with a wider audience, especially when they support good causes. For example, I’ve just posted an interview with Hugh Williams-Preece who’s planning to run from Lisbon to London to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and a contribution from Emily Morris who’s training to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand to raise money to buy a hoist to help disabled swimmers use Hampton Pool.
How do you see Tzero developing in 2010?
I hope to continue finding and sharing inspiring stories, I’d like more people to sign up and use the site’s networking functionality to form training groups and I’m looking into setting up some kind of expert-moderated discussion forums.
What’s your background, as a journalist and a triathlete?
I think I mentioned some of my triathlon background above. Primarily I compete in Standard or Olympic Distance events (1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run). I swam a lot as a kid so I usually get a good start on the competition but I need to work on my cycling and running to stop everyone flying past me later in the race. I started writing about five years ago, initially with Africa investor magazine, who I still work with on a freelance basis. I also write for Triathlete’s World. Before that I worked in banking and engineering, including three years in Africa building water supply systems.
Finally…you’ve got an unexpected spare hour. Do you have nice cup of tea/coffee/G&T and a sit down, or a quick five mile run over the hills in driving sleet?
One thing I’ve really learnt to appreciate over the last few years is the need to rest. You can’t improve your fitness if you never allow your body time to recover. I think I’d curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and start reading a novel. I’ve read so few recently.
[lnk|http://www.journalistdirectory.com/journalist/EEEL/Simon-Griffiths/|_blank|Simon Griffiths on the Freelance Journalist Directory]
[lnk|http://www.featuresexec.com/bulletin/news.php?newsid=gTAX|_self|Freelance journalist focus interview with Simon Griffiths, August 2008]