The joy of racing – Eddie Hirst

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After a summer period dominated by injury, I was thrilled to represent Great Britain as an Age Group athlete and experience an international race at the ITU Multisport World Championships in Penticton, British Columbia. The human body has the capacity to repair itself fairly quickly from some sporting injuries, fortunately this allowed me to get myself to a level of fitness which would make me competitive at the event. My family and I also decided to target the World Championships as a family holiday destination as the dates landed squarely in the UK school summer holidays. Happy days!

Canada is a beautiful country and the people are friendly, humble and resourceful. I was quite taken by the whole experience and it has to be one of my favourite destinations. The Multisport World Championships covers a range of events from the ‘Iron distance’ swim, bike and run to Aquathlon and Duathlon. I competed in the Sprint Distance Duathlon event which was a fast and furious experience which included a roller coaster bike leg, not for the faint hearted!

I was more than happy to finish 15th in my race, it was a real honour to race for GB and the support from my family and teammates was awesome. There were some real acts of human kindness on display, one of which involved two of my GB teammates who stopped during my race to attend to a fellow competitor from the USA who had taken a very bad fall during the cycle section. Effectively sacrificing their race to attend to the needs of another person who needed urgent medical assistance. They were OK, thankfully and my teammates have since received recognition for their acts of kindness.

All in all, an amazing trip which at one point looked doubtful for me, but I persevered and made it!

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