ISLE of Wight athlete Matt Ridley travelled 8,000 miles to race in one of the globe’s most gruelling events — the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Sunday.

The former Carisbrooke High student finished the event in 4hrs 44mins to come 767th out of 3,670 entrants.

Matt was 132nd out of 213 in the men’s 25 to 29 age group.

It was the fourth 70.3-mile triathlon he has taken part in.

The 25-year-old is a member of the triathlon club at Oxford University, where he is studying for a doctorate in physics.

Among the estimated 50,000 spectators were Matt’s grandmother, Helen Lupton, 88, who lives in Port Elizabeth, his mother, Sue Lupton, of Newport, Isle of Wight, and his brother, Ben, also a student from the Island.

Matt’s split times were 31 minutes for the 1.2 mile swim, 2hrs 39mins for the 56-mile cycle and 1hr 27mins for the 13.10-mile run.

He said: “The organisation and crowd support in Port Elizabeth was amazing — and the course was challenging.

“My goal was to finish in under 4hrs 45mins and I pushed myself to my limit to achieve it.

“It was incredibly inspiring to see the professional athletes, including Olympic champion Ali Brownlee, completing the same race — and at such an unbelievable pace.”

Matt’s father was the late David Ridley, a consultant at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight.