Tucker Murphy takes a break from work to hop on his bike — and talk to the Sun. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.
Tucker Murphy takes a break from work to hop on his bike — and talk to the Sun. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.

Murphy, 31, has never been one to rest on his laurels — he represented Bermuda as a long-distance skier in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, finished 11th in a 15 kilometre pursuit race at the World National Skiing Championships in Spain, was  awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, earned a doctorate from Oxford, been active in protecting pumas and other rare cats, and worked in Argentina.

His talents on the snow translate well into triathlon and after the thrill of representing his country at Olympic level, he now can’t wait for the Games to come around.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “The Olympics was a fantastic event. I had a lot of support from Bermuda and I was very proud to represent the island. 

“It’s a very different sport, its obviously a winter sport. I’ve competed in Europe and the States and New Hampshire quite a bit, so it’s really nice to come back and do local races here.  The triathlon community is a wonderful community and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Despite getting into skiing only late into his high-school years, Murphy credits his fitness and skiing tutelage under coach Ruff Patterson in Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, as crucial to his development. Now he’s hoping to transfer what he learned to triathlon.

He said: “The fitness is similar, you have to be aerobically very fit, obviously each sport has its own efficiencies.  For example, cross country skiing you have to be technically very efficient. In triathlon, running you don’t have to be efficient but I have less of a background in biking and swimming so that’s what I’m working on right now, and luckily I’ve had the help of a lot of people, and I’ve had some good friends who are cyclists and swimmers.”

Although new to triathlon, Murphy is already turning heads. Jonathan Herring, one of the Games favourites for Bermuda, told the Sun Murphy is someone to watch out for, describing him as “strong, fit” and someone who “loves to suffer”.

Herring took first and Murphy  second in the Caitlin National Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships earlier in the year at Clearwater, which is the venue for next month’s competition.

Murphy admitted he was unsure what to expect in terms of his own performance but tipped team-mate Herring to shine.

Murphy said: “I think Jonathan is by far the favourite in every race that he’s run in. So he’s probably the favourite for Bermuda. 

“I’m not sure what to expect in terms of the competition, what level they are. It’s going to be interesting to see how they deal with the humidity. I’m excited about the team we have, we have a very strong team with people like Kent Richardson, Mark Wilcox, Tim Goodyear, and Jeff Smith.”

Whatever the outcome, Murphy, who is currently working on a partnership with Parks to try to enhance the railway trail, is delighted the event is on home soil: “That’s wonderful, that’s fantastic. It’s really the first big event I’ll compete in Bermuda other than the May 24 marathon. 

“It will be nice to have local support and to go out and support some of the other athletes.”