Action Sports Enthusiast - Peter Hayes

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Peter Hayes is an Action Sports Enthusiast who enjoys all things adrenaline from downhill mountain biking to sky diving, skiing and kart racing! At 63yrs of age, Peter will be undertaking the wildest downhill mountain biking event in the world - The Megavalanche in Alpe D’Huez!  

I need all the help I can get to do these types of sports! I am sure Beet It Sport will help me tremendously to reduce the age gap in performance to my younger competitors
— Peter Hayes

How did you get involved in action sports? 

Even as a kid I liked adrenaline. My brother and I used to race our push bikes down quarry workings in the 60’s- I suppose we could have invented downhill mountain biking! But, my adult desire really kicked off when I was 18 and I went to university and joined the skydiving club. It would be the start of 41 years of skydiving all over the world.

What motivates you to take up sporting challenges? 

I think it is just the challenge to do it, rather than a desire to win, if it is a competitive event, depending on which sport I am doing. This applies especially to my downhill mountain biking now. At 63 years of age I love to do it but I am realistic that I can’t compete on equal terms with the younger generations. What I also like is the camaraderie with all the bikers, young and older, and how they all respect each other and will go out of their way to help and advise. However, if I am racing in the British Dmax Karting Championships, that is different, I want to win or finish as high up as is possible, despite racing against teenagers and drivers half my age! I am currently 7th overall in the 2018 Championships points standings after 5 rounds.

What has been your greatest sporting challenge so far?

It is about to come up without a doubt- racing in the The Megavalanche in Alpe D’Huez on July 7th and 8th- the wildest and longest Downhill Mountain Bike race in the world. If I had to pick a past challenge it would be participating with a team of skydivers in 1994 to break the world record for the most number of tandem skydiving jumps in a day. The team achieved 113 jumps in one day and my role was to skydive with my cameras to capture the jumps on film. I personally did 14 jumps in the one day.

Peter Hayes skydiving in 2014

Peter Hayes skydiving in 2014

Aspirations in action sports for 2018 and beyond?

To stay safe is the top priority, at the same time as having fun and meeting new like minded people.

To finish in the top 10 in the 2018 British DMax Karting Championships.

What is your favourite type of action sport?

I love all gravity assisted sports- the biking, skiing, skydiving, plus I love my kart racing- common thread- speed!

Do you have any athlete role models who have inspired you?

Loads- too many to list them all but here are a few- Right now, Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave for sure- they are incredible athletes and represent British sport on the world stage magnificently in the Downhill World Cup. Steve Peat is also right up there. I am privileged to have met all of them and as I indicated above about the camaraderie, their interest in my plans and their eagerness to offer advice was tremendous.

Jim Clark (1965 World Drivers Champion), Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher

Tina Maze, Lindsey Vonn and Mikeala Shiffrin, Marcel Hirscher and Dave Ryding from the world of ski racing.

Peter Hayes (#46) Kart racing championships 

Peter Hayes (#46) Kart racing championships 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take up action sports?

Know your personal skill level limits and always participate with an element of reserve in your pocket- if you don’t want to end up in hospital, which can happen anyway, but the risk is greatly reduced.

Can you give us an insight into any pre-challenge routine? Diet? Mental preparation?

I can’t be described, being honest, as an ’athlete’ in the true sense of the word. My preparations are more about the mental than the physical which I try to achieve through mind focus on the task at hand. This was vital in skydiving, knowing every inch of the fine detail which has been planned for a skydive and then executing that plan from the moment you board the aircraft to when you land safely to perfection, blocking out from your mind all other thoughts.

As I have aged I have become more focussed on the physical side, with gym workouts and a lot more cycling, as I acknowledge to myself that if I want to keep on going for another 10 years or so, which I intend to, I have to train my physical body to keep up with my mind!

Peter Hayes and his son in 2014 skydiving in Slovenia 

Peter Hayes and his son in 2014 skydiving in Slovenia 

How did you hear about Beet It Sport?

At the London Bike Show this year- I saw the stand and was very interested, tried the product and liked the idea of how it will help me on The Alpine Challenge and racing in The Megavalanche.

Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?

I need all the help I can get to do these types of sports! I am sure it will help me tremendously to reduce the age gap in performance to my younger competitors and I hope I can inspire other like-minded 60 something’s that action sports can be for all ages, not just the youth of today.