Bevan Docherty has announced his retirement from professional triathlon.
He posted his RETIREMENT! notice on his site, here is what it says:
After many fantastic years in triathlon and countless great memories, I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional triathlon.
This was certainly no easy decision as triathlon has been a major part of my life for over 15 years, however with injuries outweighing winning results in the last season it seems like a great time to listen to this tired old body and bow-out gracefully. There is no doubt I have more victories in me however over the last few years it has been increasingly more difficult to reach that form and even harder to hold it, 'back in the day' I could peak for months on end but nowadays I'm lucky to get a few weeks. The other major contributing factor was my family, although I had the complete support of my family I just wasn't willing to make the sacrifices and miss out on things I would regret in later years. Triathlon is such a physically demanding sport and after a solid day/week of training I have always been torn between staying at home to recover or going to the park to play with my kids.
Like any high performing athlete or businessman I don't think I would ever be completely satisfied with my results, that's what makes me tick, if I achieved one goal there was always something else beyond that. However, if I could go back to the day when I was heading to Europe as a fresh teenage triathlete chasing the dream and tell myself this is what my future holds, I would be blown away! With many highlights over the years it's pretty hard to choose my best. Obviously the most defining moment of my career was winning Silver at the Athens Olympics in a Kiwi 1-2. Reading a recent article commemorating the 10-year anniversary not long ago brought back so many great memories and it is an honour to be part of NZ sporting history momentarily stopping a nation in its tracks and making them proud to be Kiwis, that's the magic of sport. Long before that career highlights were as simple as calling Mum and Dad to say I had won a couple of hundred dollars and that they wouldn't have to send me food money for that week! As hard as those first few years were they were great fun, making a lot of great friends and are what defined me as an athlete. Sleeping in bomb shelters and train stations might not seem like fun at the time, but it certainly makes you appreciate a nice hotel room and I can definitely laugh at all the crazy stories now. Winning World Triathlon champs in 2004 and winning another Olympic medal in Beijing were other career highlights, but the reality was every time I crossed the finish line first it was a massive high. My most recent high was winning my first Ironman in my hometown of Taupo in record time, and probably one of the most emotional wins of my life. With all the racing around the world over the years, to come back to my hometown and win in front of friends and family was very magical, I don't think I could have scripted that day any better.
I certainly couldn't have achieved any of these results without the support of family, friends and sponsors. Even with a year of sub par results and news of injury, my current sponsors have been so supportive and stood by me. The life of a professional athlete is filled with many highs and lows, and it was always comforting to have sponsors that had my back. Also to the sponsors who have supported me over the years, providing me with the best equipment, the coolest clothes, the tastiest nutrition and all the finances to keep me off the streets, you have all been a part of my success and I will never forget that.
Another fantastic aspect of sport is the amazing life long friends you make along the way. I partly regret getting to a point where I was so focused and driven that I didn't get to enjoy the journey as much as I should have. Even still I have some amazing friends who have supported me through the tough times and celebrated the good ones, - and boy did we celebrate. There are so many people to thank, and you all know who you are, however my 3 Groomsmen need special mention. My coach of 10 years Mark Elliot who guided me toward many victories, his knowledge and grounded attitude is what makes him one of the best and he is still showing that with his involvement in Cycling NZ. My friends and training buddies Kris Gemmell and Will Smith, it's certainly not easy being friends with me let alone training with me but to be the best you need to be surrounded by the best and I was very lucky to have them around.
Family has been the driving force throughout the years, my Mum and Dad behind me all the way! My Mum always wanted to be a 'Baked beans Mum' and my Dad always wanted an All Black for a son. I didn't quite make it on either of those but jumping the fence to see them and my sister after crossing the line in Athens was a priceless moment, they have always been my biggest fans. My wife and kids are obviously the biggest part of my life now, I joke with my wife 'if you can remain married to me as a pro triathlete for 6 years then the rest of our lives together are going to be easy'! In fact my 17-year-old stepson Scott recently said to me 'I prefer the new you'! My kids are everything to me and now at the ages of 3 and 4 they are like little sponges and I'm excited to have the time and energy they need to help them be the best they can be.
So I guess many of you are asking the question, what are you going to do now? Believe me I've been asking that a fair bit too. Coaching probably isn't a good option; anyone that knows me knows that I'm too strong minded to be a coach! At the moment I've just had my first real Christmas with my family and am really enjoying as much kiddy time as I can get. I have been lucky enough to get a Prime Minister's Scholarship from High Performance Sport NZ and am using that towards getting my Commercial Pilots License, in fact I just got my Private Pilots License the other day, so be careful in the skies because apparently Kiwi's can't fly! I'm also looking into a few house renovations to fulfill my creative side and planning on knocking down a few walls and making a mess, we'll see how long that lasts. Whichever direction my future takes me I'm confident that skills and attitude I've learnt over the years as a professional triathlete will serve me well.
I look forward to following the sport I love from an outside perspective, however I also look forward to drinking more beer, having more energy and living a 'normal' life.
One of many highlights from Bevan's career,