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Local athlete competes on a world stage

Jon Read 40k bike

A local duathlete represented Great Britain at the ITU World Championships in Canada, with a little help from Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

Amateur athlete, Jon Read, who lives in Lichfield, represented Great Britain at the ITU World Championships, which took place in Penticton, Canada in August 2017.

The multi-sport festival featured six World Championship events over ten days, including the sprint and standard duathlon events. Around 42 countries sent athletes to the festival, with GB having more than 300 across multiple disciplines.

Jon competed in the standard distance duathlon in the age group 30 to 34. This race includes a 10km run, followed by a 40km bike ride, and a 5km run to finish.

Jon was delighted to finish in ninth place for his category and to be the third GB athlete across the finishing line. He also placed 47th overall out of more than 600 athletes.

Of his experience, Jon Read said:

“Forming part of the GB Parade of Nations during the opening event was such an honour.

“On race day, things couldn’t have gone anymore to plan. All the training in the previous months throughout the summer season meant I performed as well, and perhaps better, than I could have hoped.

“Pacing myself was difficult, as my legs felt good and could easily have pushed on for a very quick 10km time.

“Heading out onto the bike, the course was two-laps of an out and back course along the side of Okanagan Lake. The Wattbike session training at Friary Grange Leisure Centre taught me to hold good strong power figures consistently, and this was invaluable on a course like this and my performance was a strong one as a result.

“The final run was excruciating - it was simply a case of giving it everything I had. It was a great feeling, passing many athletes, and then on the final 1km having a race to the line with one of the Brazilian competitors in my event category.

“In Canada, I had the support of my soon-to-be-wife and the many hundreds of Team GB fans and families who made the trip. Every cheer around the course created a spine-tingling moment!

“The best thing of all, is that I now get to repeat the race at next year’s World Championships in Denmark, as I should have pre-qualified with this result. This means I can focus on the areas of improvement from this race, and come back stronger and faster next year.”

Friary Grange Leisure Centre is part of Team GB Gold Club, which offers athletes exclusive discounts and benefits. To help Jon prepare for the World Championships, the leisure centre offered him a free membership. This includes the use of the centre’s Evolve Fitness gym and Wattbike classes.

Phil Kelly, Friary Grange Leisure Centre Manager, said:

“What a fantastic result for Jon and brilliant for Lichfield to send an athlete to the World Championships. Our Wattbike training sessions are a great way to improve fitness, strength and to build endurance and speed. They are ideal for anyone who wants to improve their bike skills or even train to represent Team GB! We will continue to support Jon’s training effort and wish him all the best for Denmark.”

To read the full account of Jon’s time in Canada, visit

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

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