Andres Chau is the current LUCA Vice-President and a UCL stalwart. Frequently seen churning up the mud in the black & white of Highgate as well as the purple of UCL, he’s been clocking some rapid track times this summer too. Andres spoke to LUCA to give us some insight into his training, life in athletics, and just what it’s like living with Henry.
Hi Andres. What’s your uni background?
I did my undergrad at UCL in French and Spanish. I did year abroad placements in Lyon, France and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now I’m doing a Masters in Language and History (French).
How did you get into athletics?
I started running because I wanted to lose weight. My doctor said my BMI was borderline obese so something had to be done. I absolutely hated it for the first few weeks, but gradually I saw the returns and lost 10 kg. Then I really wanted to get into it and take the running to the next level, so I started to do cross country and track.
What does LUCA mean for you?
Devotion and compassion. At the end of the day, what keeps me here is the people. Everyone who is a member of LUCA is a volunteer. They aren’t paid, it’s not compulsory for them to help organising athletics fixtures. They are people who are genuinely passionate about the sport, and want to make it more accessible for everyone, regardless of their background in athletics.
How are you finding VP life?
Surprisingly different. I find the role gives me more freedom and independence compared to when I was XC Captain at UCL. That said, there are a lot of new things to learn. Luckily, I have the committee, the president and James Findon to guide me.
How’s the working relationship with Mr President?
Well, I’ve had the misfortune to live with him for 2 years now, but every cloud has a silver lining. Living with him means that I have instantaneous contact with him about LUCA matters. Also, he’s extremely organised so it has never been stressful or frustrating working with him.
Favourite LUCA race?
LUCA Indoors 3000m, only because I beat Henry. (I’ve only beaten him in one race ever since).
Favourite post run meal?
I would normally say steak but I don’t remember that last time I didn’t have a lamb doner kebab from the kebab shop just outside my flat after a race. So we’ll go for kebab.
Most hated session?
Anything solo. I always prefer training with a club or in group.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Start out easy and progress. It’s not unusual to get overly excited when you first start running. You’ll want to run as many miles as you can but try and be sensible and listen to your body. Progress little by little and take recovery days seriously to avoid injuries that will set you back.
Cheers Andres, and stay tuned for the next edition of My LUCA!