Four athletes from Sudbury have represented team GB at the Europe Triathlon Multisport Championships in Spain.

Shan Bendall, from Semer, Mark Smith, from Long Melford and Chris Thornton, from Bures all took part in the middle distance triathlon - a 1.9km swim, 82.5km bike ride and a 21km run.

Simon Daniel, from Great Cornard, took part in the AquaBike race – a 1.9km swim and 82.5km bike race.

The quartet - from Sudbury’s triathlon club, TRISudbury - represented the country in tough, wet and cold conditions at the European championships in Bilbao on Saturday September 24.

The athletes had secured their places in 2019 but due to the pandemic had to wait two years to compete in the championships - up against more than 3,000 other athletes from across Europe.

Shan, who finished 10th in her age group (30-34), in a time of five hours 14 minutes, said: "The rain made the hilly and technical bike course even harder, but the shouts of encouragement pushed me through the exhaustion to the finish line.”

After a high-speed crash on the bike leg, Mark Smith (age category 40-45) finished 40th in a time of five hours 22 minutes. He said he was “so proud to wear the GB kit and finally represent my country and TRISudbury after such a long wait."

Sudbury Mercury: The quartet qualified for the championships back in 2019.The quartet qualified for the championships back in 2019. (Image: Lindsay Hobden)

Competing in the 60-64 age category - finishing in 29th place in a time of six hours nine minutes, club vice-chairman Chris said: “Representing my country was not something I ever thought was achievable.

"In fact, the possibility of completing a triathlon was not on my horizon until I joined TRISudbury five years ago."

Simon - who achieved a 10th place finish in the male 40-44 age group with a time of three hours five minutes - said: “I really enjoyed the race, despite tearing apart my wetsuit down the calf as I put it on and cycling through the rain at first.

"But the final 15 miles were super fast and it started to dry out so I pushed on despite the cramps in my calf."

Sudbury Mercury: The athletes battled tough conditions in Spain when representing team GB.The athletes battled tough conditions in Spain when representing team GB. (Image: Lindsay Hobden)