Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club’s Craig Hunter has booked his place in the Ironman World Championship event later this year.
Hunter, who will compete in the competition for the first time since 2014, secured a 69th place finish in the European Championships in Frankfurt earlier this month.
Following his performance, his place at the world event was confirmed and he will compete in Hawaii in October.
Talented triathlete Hunter admits it will be a proud day when he takes to the course against some top competitors.
He said: “This will be the second time I’ve competed in the World Championships and I’m really looking forward to it.
“When I took part last time in 2014 it was really tough. It’s not only hot and humid but sometimes the wind can make it really difficult as well.
“It’s going to be magnificent to have an opportunity to be part of this race once again.
“Some serious preparation goes into this event and last time I was amazed at the shape other competitiors were in.
“In these type of events, it’s you taking on the course for around nine hours but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to complete it once again.”
Hunter’s spot was secured following a phenomenal effort at the recent European Championships.
The racer, who is from Rustington and part of the talented athlete programme, secured a fifth-placed finish in his 40-44 age category.
A field of more than 3,000 took part, with Hunter recording 55min 50sec in the 3,800 metre swim, 4-53-19 over the 112-mile bike ride and then 3-11-49 in the marathon, to give him an overall time of 9-09-28.
His performance was made all the more remarkable as he competed with severe pain in his shin, which had left his participation in doubt. But not only did Hunter take part, he managed to complete the course in an impressive time.
He said: “Going into the race I had been having some trouble with pain in my shin and wasn’t sure whether I would be able to compete.
“For me, the aim was to just complete the course the best I could but getting over that line was the main aim.
“I was really happy when I found out that I had finished fifth in my age category.
“It’s a case of getting a little bit of rest in and then preparing for the big event later this year.”
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