A Gainsborough triathlete has won a national title in a televised race, while preparing for the European Championships.
Jordan Skelly wanted to use the National Triathlon Championships in Chester as a test event, to find out what level his conditioning was at before next month’s European event in Geneva.
But the 22-year-old put in such a good performance that he walked away with the national title for men aged 20 to 24.
The Deva Chester Triathlon had a strong field of over 1,100 triathletes, tackling a 1.5k swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
Although the start of the race, which will be televised on Channel 4 on 18th July, was frenetic, Skelly soon got into his rhythm.
He said: “Starting with the 1.5k swim in the River Dee, the regular fight of a mass swim start kicked off the first few hundred metres.
“But then the spaces began to appear, allowing me to make progress up through the field.
“I exited the water in a stronger time than expected, in 20 minutes 31 seconds, so the first of the three disciplines went well.”
The Gainsborough man made more progress on the bike, heading out on a course that took the triathletes into Wales.
“I gained positions from the earlier stronger swimmers,” he said.
“And I left the bike leg in 1:01:59, going into transition in fifth place in my age category.
“With the 10k run being my strongest event I was fully confident that I could make up places.”
Before long Skelly had moved into the podium positions, but had a little work to do to chase the gold medal.
“Coming onto the last of three laps the leader was in sight, and knowing that with the two miles still remaining there could be a chance other strong runners were following my move through the pack, so I wasted no time in hitting the lead,” he explained.
And when he crossed the finish line to record a 34:09 10k leg, it was confirmed he was national champion in his ager group, and 13th overall.
With an international race looming, Skelly is pleased with his 2015 progress so far.
“This national title capped an already strong start to the year.”
“So far it has seen me become British Duathlon champion and finish second in the Gainsborough 10k.”