Kerri-Ann Upham retains her ETU European Cross Triathlon Championship title in Romania
PUBLISHED: 08:52 09 September 2019
In Romania, 28-year-old Kerri-Ann powered her way through 1,000m swim, 23km mountain bike and 6km trail run, crossing the finish line as the first British female, first in her age group (25-29) and second overall and so completed her mission, retaining her European Champion title!
Speaking of her feelings immediately after the competition, Kerri-Ann said: "It was a tough course, but I enjoyed every second of it, following the race I knew I wanted to start specialising in off-road triathlon and immediately entered Xterra Luxembourg with the goal of qualifying for the Xterra World Championships in Maui 2020."
She continued: "Xterra is a series of cross triathlon races (a bit like Ironman, but for off-road triathlon)."
Xterra races are held all over the world and series culminates with the World Championships in Maui where the event originated. Qualifying for the World Championships de[ends on the entrant winning their age group and Kerri-Ann travelled to Luxembourg for the September 1 meeting, a non-wetsuit swim and physically challenging bike course with the event comprising of a 1,500m swim, 30m bike and finally a 10km trail run.
Kerri-Ann says: "To be honest the make-up of the event certainly played to my strengths and I was able to produce a strong performance on the day."
She finished first in her age group and, in a field that included a large number of professional athletes, was seventh female home which represents an outstanding performance.
So what next for the Honiton born athlete? She says: "My next target are the World Championships are on November 9. It's entirely self-funded, the race entry, travel and kit is all at my own expense - so I will be reaching out to local businesses for support and sponsorship."
In terms of the preparation that Kerri-Ann will undertake ahead of those World Championships, she will continue her current regime of train up to 16 hours a week which includes running, cycling, swimming and strength and conditioning. Mind you, with a full time job as a product architect at First DataBank, is all means that also fitting a regular training regime into her week is not always easy!
She says: "I enjoy working with my coach Rob Moore (Trimoore coaching) to construct a training plan that allows me to achieve my goals while maintaining a healthy work/life balance."
For sports folk like Kerri-Ann, sponsors and benefactors play such a massive part and he is keen to thank her supporters.
She says: "I am truly grateful to the likes of Rob Moore of 'Trimoore coaching, the 'Pure Endurance Triathletes' race team while Devonvale Bakery (sponsor and flapjack provider!), Ganesha (sponsor), Total Renewables (sponsor) and Leisure East Devon for their gym and swim facilities, have all been such a big part of my on-going success."