European gold for Dunmow triathlete
PUBLISHED: 09:58 09 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:01 09 June 2016
Dunmow triathlete Andy Bourne won European gold in Portugal in what was his first major international race and is now looking to take on the rest of the world.
The 55-year-old former Great Britain swimmer was triumphant in the European Age Group Triathlon Championship in Lisbon.
He achieved first place in his 55-59 age group in the standard distance triathlon, made famous by GB’s London 2012 Olympic winner Alistair Brownlee.
Bourne completed the 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run course in two hours 10 minutes 28 seconds, winning his category by more than two minutes.
A thrilled Bourne said: “The race went according to plan. I led from the first few strokes on the swim until the finishing straight on the run.
“Although there was a moment on the run when I began to cramp up, I dug deep and hung on.
“I’m delighted to win my first medal at a major international race.”
With his strong swimming background, Bourne is often able to dominate age group triathlon races, although he admits to having to work hard in training on his cycling and running.
He trains every day of the week, mixing up indoor swimming pool and gym work at Dunmow Leisure Centre with open water swims and cycling in the surrounding Essex countryside.
In addition to his training, Bourne is the chair of Tri Sport Epping, a triathlon club based in Ongar, and is actively involved in promoting participation in triathlons across all age groups.
Later this year he is looking to add to his European crown by travelling to Mexico to represent GB at the World Triathlon Championship, where he is again aiming to bring home a medal.
Mel Barlow-Graham, also from Dunmow and a Tri Sport Epping member, was fifth at the European Age Group Triathlon Championship in the women’s 40-44 age group.