Last weekend our newest ambassador James, competed in the 70.3 World Championships in Utah. James has been doing triathlon for just over two years, having had no experience across the 3 disciplines (aside from the odd commute on the bike), he needed a goal after lockdown and stumbled across an advert on social media for an Olympic distance triathlon.
Over the next 3 weeks, he rented a wetsuit, bought some running shoes and completed the race..
“I've been hooked since and have been lucky enough to qualify for several European & World championship races across various distances" – James.
Recently returning from St George we caught up with James to find out how his first World Championships went.
What were your goals heading into the race?
“I qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships back in late 2021 in the one off Bolton 70.3 - it was my second middle distance triathlon and I was lucky enough to get a rolldown slot. I haven't done a middle-distance race since then, but have gotten much quicker across all 3 disciplines. The bike course is similar to Bolton – hilly. My goal going into the race was improve my time by 25 minutes to go sub-5 hours. I knew that this would be a tall order, having spent the last 10 weeks recovering from a sprained ankle with very little run training.”
Talk us through race day
“First off, what an amazing start to the day watching the pro-men kick off in Sand Hallow reservoir against the Southern Utah red rock and sunrise. As a weak swimmer against a stacked field, I knew I'd be coming out of the water towards the back-end of my age-group; I jumped on the bike and was going well - hitting power and speed targets on the beautiful course in St George. Alas, half way through the bike, my rear derailleur came loose and my gears had a mind of their own (not ideal on one of the hillier 70.3 courses!); shortly after, my rear brake pad came loose which saw me come to a sudden halt on multiple occasions - lesson learned.. Ensure that the bike is checked pre-race and bring the appropriate tools for the job - a simple tightening of two Alan key bolts after the race and the bike was good as new! Regardless of spending 10 minutes roadside, I finished the bike, then the run without any ankle injury aggravation - I was 10 minutes off of my time target but it was the most amazing experience and beautiful course I've ever been a part of.”
James already has a packed winter schedule of training races and a full calendar in 2023 – we look forward to following him.