Paul Thomas wins ITU Para Cross Tri World championships

Tuesday 12th June 2012

Paul made the long trip to the USA to compeate in the Para Cross Tri World championships and came away with gold, please find his report below

On the 19th May 2012 I took part in the Shelby County ITU Para Cross Tri World championships in Pelham, Alabama, USA

A great race venue using a warm lake, a mountain bike route and a trail run route. The race was a sprint cross triathlon with a 500m swim, 10k mountain bike and a 5 k trail run. The mountain bike route was a hilly, technical course, with lots of narrow forest tracks, boulders, jumps, bridges and tight turns to negotiate. The run used most of the bike course, then turned towards a boggy lakeside route.

I hired a mountain bike from a local shop which saved me at least a hundred pounds and the hassle of getting my bike to the USA.

There were only two paras who turned up to race, (me Para Tri 3 category) and an (Para Tri 5 category) American, so we had plenty of room and congratulated each other for winning our category before we started. It was a shame that the Americans did not support their own race, especially as I believe there were over 40 who raced in their nationals a week later (so did I)

Race went according to plan in over 30 degree heat, I had a decent swim and no alligators in site, negotiated the mountain bike course slowly, I had to dismount to get over a few of the obstacles, and ran the full 5 k trail route. Came in just over the two hour mark, which I was pleased with. My daughter Grace came with me to support and help me in transition.

Awards ceremony went well except that the organisers thought there was only on para race instead of there being two separate para tri categories, so was awarded a silver, gold will be sent to me.

Had a great 8 days in the USA, went to a baseball match, a theme park in Atlanta, shopped to I dropped and ate too much

Time Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
02:03:17 00:13:47 00:03:09 00:57:24 00:01:31 00:47:24