Pendle athlete flying to Spain as part of Team GB

Simon Phillips in action (s).
Simon Phillips in action (s).

A Pendle athlete has qualified to represent Team GB in the 2015 Alcobendas ETU Duathlon European Championships.

Simon Phillips, 54, entered only his seventh competition at Oulton Park in Cheshire and finished the mammoth 30km challenge in second place out of 18 competitors in his age category.

The one-time Pendle Forest Cycling Club member, who now works at Balmers GM Ltd, finished the 5km run, the 20km cycle and a further 5km run in one hour and seven minutes, the 37th overall fastest time from more than 400 people that took part in the event.

The Stockport Tri Club representative, who was crowned national 100-mile time trial champion in Garstang in 2007, will compete in the Spanish city, just north of Madrid, on April 26th where he’ll be accompanied by girlfriend and coach Gillian Doolan.

“I wasn’t expecting to finish so high up,” he said. “But I thought I had a chance of squeezing in to the top four qualifying places. I was absolutely delighted with the result.

“I’ve only been running for about two years but I took to it superbly. Now I train every day except Fridays doing swimming, running and cycling. I can’t wait to take part in Spain now.”

Simon, who has a 25-mile time trial in Cheshire and a triathlon in Skipton on the horizon, added: “I’m really looking forward to competing against some of the best athletes in Europe.

“I’m open-minded about my hopes and ambition for the competition but I’d hope to be among the leading contenders at the finish. Everything is gearing towards the World Championship qualifiers in 2016 now.”