Or­chard keen to run with the pro­fes­sion­als

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Ama­teur cross triath­lete Elizabeth Or­chard is aim­ing to give the pro­fes­sion­als a run for their money and is chang­ing up a gear for the next round of in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.

The Ep­som res­i­dent stormed her way to a gold medal in this year’s ITU Cross Triathlon Cham­pi­onships, clear­ing the field with 12 min­utes be­tween her and the sec­ond place fin­isher.

In last month’s Xterra World Cham­pi­onships in Hawaii, Or­chard placed 11th in the pro­fes­sional women’s ti­tle.

An im­pres­sive feat con­sid­er­ing the 26-year-old only took up the sport four years ago and fits in train­ing around the de­mands of a full­time job.

Or­chard was last year’s Xterra world cham­pion in the 25 to 29 age group but has stepped up to try her hand at the pro­fes­sional ti­tle on a course which in­cludes a 1.5km swim, 30km moun­tain bike trail and 10km run.

‘‘One day I’d really love to win that ti­tle. That would be amaz­ing, but in the mean time I’m just aim­ing to get in the top 10 and then the top five,’’ she says.

‘‘Ev­ery­one’s really sup­port­ive. It’s a great com­mu­nity to be a part of.’’

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Long haul: Ep­som cross triath­lete Elizabeth Or­chard is gear­ing up to give the pro­fes­sion­als a run for their money af­ter her success at the world off-road triathlon cham­pi­onships in Hawaii.

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