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Graham Friend

Involved with sport since his youth; rowing for his college and becoming both a windsurfing and ski instructor to name but a few, Graham was 30 before he took part in his first endurance event - an Olympic distance triathlon in Windsor, England. He completed several triathlons, a 30hr adventure race and the London marathon, all in his 30s.  In 2010 Graham moved, with his young family, to Valais to be closer to Powder Extreme, the specialist off-piste ski school he co-founded in 2004.  

Since moving there he has competed in many bike races including the Granfondo San Gottardo, the TIME Megeve Mont-Blanc and several local middle distance events. However the mountain air soon inspired him to take on an even bigger challenge and Ironman seemed to be the answer. He completed races in Zurich (2010) and Barcelona (2011) before returning to the Olympic distance triathlon in 2012. In 2014, following a 2nd place position at his first outing, Graham qualified to represent Great Britain at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in his age group 45-50.  He subsequently
placed 6th in the English National Championships and in 2015 will
again represent GB at the ETU European Championships.  

In addition to triathlons Graham has also twice completed the Grand Raid (Europe’s toughest cross-country mountain bike race) and in 2014 the gruelling Patrouille des Glaciers (a ski mountaineering race from Zermatt to Verbier). He has climbed the trilogy of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn (Cervin) and the Eiger and has set himself the goal of climbing every 4,000m peak in Switzerland by the time he is 70. Fortunately for him his wife, Catie, and children Tristan and Amelie, share his love of the mountains and sport, making them the perfect support team for his endless endeavours.

Other passions include surfing, kite-surfing, sailing, ice climbing and photography and when he has time between all of those Graham provides business consulting services to the telecoms sector around the world and writes for The Economist for whom he has co-authored two books.  Graham's enthusiasm for training and endurance competitions is a perfect match for team Twisted Swissters, the Race Across America is going to be a highlight of his athletic career.