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University Academic Proud to Represent Great Britain in Triathlon Championships

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A University of Worcester academic has completed a gruelling international triathlon event, representing Great Britain for the first time.

Liz Davies-Ward did a 1.9km lake swim, a 90km cycle and a 21km run at the 2016 Walshee ETU Challenge Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships in Austria, coming 27th in her age category.

Liz finished the swim in 41 minutes 27 seconds, the cycling in 3 hours 8 minutes and 9 seconds and the run in 2 hours 14 minutes and 37 seconds.

With transitions, this made a total time of 6 hours 10 minutes and 56 seconds.

“The race was fantastic,” said Liz, who is the Acting Head of the Institute of Science and the Environment and taught health and wellbeing. “The opportunity to swim, bike and run in the most beautiful location made things more bearable. The swim was straight forward but the bike was more technical than expected. There was plenty of opportunity to pick up time on the amazing downhills but the slog up the four hills required focus and perseverance.

“The run involved 4 laps of the lake with some gradual inclines. The weather was glorious but not ideal for racing as it was so hot. I lost a little bit of time on the run because of the need to keep adequately hydrated. I was very pleased with my overall time of 6hrs 10mins, although lots of lessons learnt, especially in transition.”

The mother-of-two was representing GB-Age Group in the 50 to 54 category, taking part alongside men and women in age groups from 18 to 70-year-olds, as well as elite triathletes, though she only competed against women in her age group.

She was one of 37 British men and women selected in the 50-54 age group and came 10th out of the 14 British women selected to compete for their country.

The registered nurse took up triathlon four years ago and is a member of Hereford Triathlon Club.

She qualified for the championships in August last year with a time of 5 hours 44 minutes at the Cotswold Classic Middle Distance Triathlon.

The 53-year-old, of Hereford, who trains around 13 hours a week, said: “I feel very proud to have represented GB. To be honest I still haven’t taken it all in. The overall experience was incredible. I’ll be racing again in 2 weeks at the New Forest Middle Distance with a view to qualifying again for the ETU European Middle Championships in Denmark 2017.

“After a short break I’ll be back to winter training; swim, long winter rides, winter cross country/coastal path runs and Strength and Conditioning.”

Liz was among the University staff who successfully completed the 85-mile Hadrian’s Wall Walk charity fundraiser last month.

She is a member of the Senior Management Team working on the University’s campaign to build an International Centre for Inclusive Sport, Physical Activity and Health.

The Centre will bring together the University’s work to educate the next generation of teachers, coaches, health and wellbeing practitioners and entrepreneurs and will provide training facilities for elite level and recreational activities in order to make sport and health truly inclusive regardless of age, ability or income.