Team GB triathletes in training. From left, Liz Dunlop, Cohan Tyler, 17, and Steve Gratton. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
TRIATHLON & DUATHLON THREE Island athletes are preparing for the trip of a lifetime as they represent Great Britain.
Wight Tri members Liz Dunlop and Cohan Tyler are donning Team GB gear to take part in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, from October 17 to 22, while Steve Gratton is also representing his country in the World Age Group Duathlon Championships in France next weekend.
Liz, 55, of Yaverland, is no stranger to this level of competition, having represented Great Britain three times previously at world level, in 1997, 2007 and 2010.
Her best result was at the World Age Group Triathlon Championships over sprint distance, in Ireland, coming fourth in the vet 50-54 category.
This year she is competing in the vet 55-59 age group, and is incorporating the experience with a two-month holiday with her husband, Chris.
"I took early retirement from teaching earlier this year so this is my retirement present to myself," she said. "I am looking forward to it, and ideally I would like to finish in the top ten if I can."
While Liz has all the experience, the event is completely new for Cohan, 17, of Wootton.
The Island Innovation VI Form student only took up triathlon on a whim, entering the West Wight Triathlon around a year ago. His first mainland competition was in April and quickly established himself among the top athletes for the 17 to 18 age group, quickly qualifying for the worlds, and also qualifying for the European Championships in 2013.
"My personal best over the sprint distance is 1.12 but I’ve been doing really well lately, so I would be happy with something like 1.08. I’m not sure where that will put me but I am looking forward to it."
Five days before the main event, Cohan is also taking part in the World Aquathon Championships, comprising a 1km swim and 5km run.
Closer to home, Steve Gratton, who only took up triathlon three years ago, is representing Britain for the first time at the World Age Group Duathlon Championships, and competes on September 23.
Bricklayer Steve, 56, of Carisbrooke Road, Newport, will race with other 55 to 59 year olds over the 10km run, 40km bike leg and 5km run in Nancy. He said: "I would be happy to complete it in around 2.10, but I am just looking forward to the challenge, and a nice weekend away!"
• Cohan is looking for sponsorship to help with his training and career, and anyone interested can contact him on email@example.com