Students get ready for the triathlon European Championships

Three of our students are getting ready to compete in the triathlon European Championships in Turkey.

James Briscoe, Owen Mitchell and Ben Pritchard are currently busy training for the ETU Triathlon European Championships in Alanya, Turkey, on June 14th 2013.

James, 19, from Crewe, has just finished his first year of his BSc Chemistry course, and Ben, 21, is a third-year LLB Law student. Owen is a Bangor Business School student.

He will be racing in the Olympic distance race which involves 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run.

James said: “This year I prequalified for the European Championships as I won my age-group last year in Israel. The biggest thing that I am nervous about is the fact that I'm back this year to defend his U20s European gold medalist title.

“I can’t wait to be able to put on the trisuit with my family name and GBR underneath as being able to represent my family and country is one of the best things about international and elite racing.

“It has been a quite a challenge to balance University commitments and my training as I can train up to  20 hours a week and sometimes more!

“Luckily I have the full support of the University and I have been awarded one of their Sports Scholarships which helps a lot financially and also gives me free access to all the facilities at the University gym. The School of Chemistry are also very supportive.

“The biggest challenge in Turkey will most definitely be the heat as training in Bangor rarely gives you chance to experience 40 degrees! But I have had the chance to do some training in Portugal over Easter this year so that has helped.”

Benjamin, originally from Swansea, is now juggling his final year studies with an intense training programme in preparation for the championship. He said: “I train anywhere between 15 and 18 hours a week alongside being a full time undergraduate student.

“Many might find it an unbelievable task to fit all the hours in, but I have found that training and studying go hand in hand. When my body feels fit, my mind also feels fit. For instance, getting up early to train will wake me up for the rest of the day, meaning I can focus on my revision or lectures. Training again in the evening gives me a release and clears my head of the day’s work.”

Benjamin, who will compete as a member of the British Age Group European Championship Team (20-25), observed that Bangor’s location makes it an ideal destination not only for study, but for training as well. He added: “I am happy I chose to study at Bangor as it has provided me with so many opportunities to train in some of the country’s most beautiful areas. I would thoroughly encourage anyone who enjoys cycling, walking or running to come and study at Bangor University.”

About competing, James  said: “Myself and Ben Pritchard have now set up Bangor University Triathlon Club so anyone interested in Triathlons should join the club as we cater for all abilities.

“For anyone thinking of competing in a triathlon, my advice would be to just enjoy your first race and see how you get on. The first time it’s all about crossing the finish line, the sense of achievement is the best feeling and tends to get you hooked!”

About Bangor, he added: “One of the reasons I decided to study at Bangor was the location, we are so close to the Snowdonia range which is perfect for training.

“The School of Chemistry have been very encouraging of my sport and the best thing about the School is that it can be applied to almost anything and the lab work keeps the course interesting.”

Publication date: 22 May 2013