ONE of the toughest tests of human endurance takes place in Switzerland next week and six Chester athletes have qualified to represent Great Britain, writes Alec Doyle.
The members of the City of Chester Triathlon Club are heading to Lausanne for the ITU World Age Group Triathlon Championships.
The race will consist of a 1,500m swim in Lake Geneva, a 25-mile bike ride on a multi-lap course through the outskirts of Lausanne and a four-lap 10k run around the lake.
The event usually attracts around 3,000 triathletes from all over the world, with Australia, USA, Canada and GB sending large teams.
GB qualification for the World Championships is held at three Olympic-distance triathlons in early summer, with 18 places in each age group up for grabs.
The qualifying races this year were the Ellesmere Triathlon in June, Dambuster Triathlon in late June in Leicestershire and the Wakefield Triathlon in Yorkshire in early July.
'Competition was fierce,' said coach and 55 to 59-year-old qualifier Chris Morgan, of Ellesmere Port.
'Each age group in all three races was packed with triathletes vying for the much sought after GB places.'
Chris' wife Jan, a school secretary, was the first to qualify at the Ellesmere race in the women's 55-59 category.
Club-mate Claire Schofield, of Chester, just missed out at Dambuster but entered the final race at Wakefield and stormed through to qualify in the women's 30-34 group.
Physiotherapist Ellie Debenham, who also lives in Chester, ensured the younger athletes were represented by qualifying for the women's 20-24s while Linda Worrall (women's 50-54) of Vicars Cross and Ellesmere Port resident Dave Humphreys (men's 60-64) also qualified.
Linda is not only looking forward to competing in Lausanne.
She has also qualified for the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships.
She will fly out to Kona in Hawaii in October to compete in the prestigious event after qualifying by winning her age group in the Lanzarote Ironman Triathlon in May.
There she will join 1,699 other competitors, who have qualified or won a place through the Kona Ironman lottery, to take on the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile ride and marathon run.