Moreton Hall triathletes Pip and Helen are off to Chicago
A couple from Bury St Edmuunds are preparing to compete, in separate races, in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in two weeks time.
Pip Moore, deputy headteacher of Westley Middle School, and his wife Helen Samuel have both qualified for the prestigious sporting event which kicks off in Chicago on September 16.
Pip, 44, pre-qualified for the event after finishing in the top three of his age group in the 2014 TransCanada Corp World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Canada.
Helen however, had to prove herself at the British Championships earlier this year.
The mother-of-two, whose first triathlon was Elveden’s off-road Tear Jerker in 2012, said: “Pip qualified last year, for Edmonton, and I went with him for a bit of a jolly, and the experience was amazing.
“It’s as close as us mere mortals are going to get to an Olympic type event - having an opening and closing ceremony, wearing GB shirts - and the team spirit is amazing, the whole atmosphere is.
“I was made to feel part of it, in a sense, but I was on the outskirts because I wasn’t part of the team, and I was at no level to be part of the team, but I looked at it and thought if I train hard maybe I could do it - it really inspired me.”
The 41-year-old set herself the challenge of training all through the winter to qualify for the finals in America and, having achieved that, is just happy to be able to represent Britain with the team, though she admits she does want to do as well as possible.
The couple, who live on Moreton Hall, expect to set off around 10 minutes apart when they compete in their age group sprints on September 17.
Helen said she was excited about being reunited with the people she met last year and about sight-seeing in Chicago but was nervous about the race itself.
“I’m very nervous about the race but that’s understandable - it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in terms of sport.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Pip in America should contact him at the school on 01284 755144.