TRIATHLON: Sleaford student Chris represents GB in USA

Chris Davies removes his wetsuit as he runs from the swim to the cycle phase in Chicago.
Chris Davies removes his wetsuit as he runs from the swim to the cycle phase in Chicago.

A student from Carre’s Grammar School student represents Great Britain in the 16-19 age group at the Grand Final of the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago.

Having qualified earlier in the year in Cambridgeshire, Chris Davies travelled to Chicago with his family.

On arriving at the hotel, one of the first tasks was to rebuild his bike which had been packed in a bike box for the flight.

This triathlon was unusual as there was no opportunity to practise the swim or bike routes as the swim was in a busy part of Lake Michigan, full of yachts, and the cycle was on the busy Chicago streets which would only be shut on race days.

Having checked all of his equipment, performed a couple of training runs and swims it was time to sign in the night before the race.

Chris said “There weren’t too many nerves before the race although a lot of the other athletes were a lot older and much bigger than me. You get to a point where you just want to get on with it.

“I was in the first race of the day. I could warm up on land but then you have to jump in the lake and start almost straight away. It’s always very tense waiting for the starting horn to blast.”

The swim is always the worst part of the race for Chris, with the jostling and elbows in the face an annoying hindrance. At the end of the swim, he was in the second half of the field; however, as always he caught up lots of people running to transition to get to the bike and was quickly out of his wetsuit.

Chris was strong in the bike phase, with his his main strength – the run section – proving to be the case once more.

Despite it being a really hot day, approximately 30 degrees centigrade, Chris stayed strong as others began to struggle, finishing an incredible 21st from 90 starters, and was the fifth ranked GB athlete. He finished in in front of the boy who won the European Championships in Kitzbuhel last year which was a pleasing achievement.

Chris said: “I really enjoyed the race, especially having the opportunity to race against others from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and across America. There were some really good athletes there.”

Whilst in Chicago, he went along to support the other age group athletes competing in the standard distance triathlon, as well as the elite races with the likes of GB multi-world champion Jonny Brownlee. He said seeing them close up really gave him an insight into what is needed to progress to the next level.

The next international race which he has qualified for is the European Champs in Lisbon next May which he hopes to be able to fit round exams at Carre’s Grammar.