Sunderland businessman Gavin Richardson will fly to Geneva on Wednesday to represent Great Britain in the European Triathlon Championship.
Richardson, managing director of Opus Building Services, competed in last year’s Europeans in Kitzbuhel and has trained hard to prepare for this year’s renewal, taking part in the 40-44 years age group – among only 20 athletes from the UK who qualified.
Earlier this year, he qualified to take part in the European Duathlon Championship in Madrid, but had to withdraw because of injury.
“I’m fully recovered now and raring to go in Geneva,” said Richardson, who will be joined in Geneva by several fellow members of the Coalfield Race Team.
“It’s hard to say where I’ll finish in the field, as you don’t know who you’re going to be up against, but I’m feeling fit and confident.”
His recent performances at a Southport European qualifier event gained him automatic qualification for the 2016 European Triathlon Championship in Lisbon. Amazingly, three Coalfield athletes – the others being Gavin Thompson, of Sunderland, and Gary Walker, from Durham – gained the first three qualification places.
“It’s amazing that there are three of us from the same small team taking part in such a prestigious championship,” added Richardson.
The triathlon involves swimming around 750m then cycling 20k before running 5k. The duathlon involves only running and cycling.
Richardson, who started competing in 2011, added: “I train for about 15 hours a week, and find it’s ideal for disconnecting with business concerns and worries. I can concentrate purely on the physical challenge.
“There are lessons to be learnt, though, that can translate into successfully running a business.
“Athletic competition is down to marginal gains, and I think that can translate into business – finding small things that can make a real difference.
“And of course if you are commited to working – or training – hard, the results will come.”