Bishop's Stortford Running Club's Themi Petridis excels on Team GB duty in European Multisport Championships
Themi Petridis sliced a whopping 24 minutes off his personal best when he represented Great Britain for the first time in the European Multisport Championships in Romania.
The Bishop's Stortford Running Club member produced an excellent performance to come 13th in the ETU age-group middle-distance triathlon in Targu Mures, Transilvania, despite feeling unwell towards the end of the race.
He crossed the line at the end of the men's 45-59 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km half-marathon run in 4hr 42min 52sec.
Petridis, who qualified to represent Team GB via the Ultimate Half in Shropshire a year ago, began with a non-wetsuit swim around Bezid Lake, with the water being a warm 26 degrees.
This was followed by a four-lap hilly bike course that climbed more than 900m in total. And the last leg of the race was a four-lap half marathon on relatively flat roads around the town of Sangeorgiu de Padure where the temperature peaked at over 30 degrees.
The swim was slower than Petridis had hoped for as he was not used to racing in open water without the extra buoyancy a wetsuit provides.
But the bike course suited him with lots of climbing and technical descents so he managed to make up some time.
After a good start to the run, he lost some time due to an upset stomach, but after a pit stop he was able to pick up the pace once more to finish the run strongly in 1:35.
Meanwhile, Stortford's Phil Gisborne came third in his 40-49 age group when he took on The Islander middle-distance triathlon on Mersea Island.
The race began on the beach and a 1.9km sea swim surrounded by jellyfish and in strong currents.
There was a short transition run before the 90km bike course involving four laps around the Abberton reservoir. And the 21km off-road run around the circumference of the island took in sandy and pebble beaches as well as farm tracks.
Gisborne, who completed the swim in 34min 59sec, bike in 2:43.58 and run in 1:51.53, was also 11th overall in a field of 109, narrowly missing out on 10th behind the fastest woman.