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Camille King rides to bronze at World Triathlon Long Distance Championships despite injury

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DIBDEN Purlieu’s Camille King overcame a fractured toe to win bronze at the 2021 World Triathlon Long Distance Championships in the Netherlands.

The Team GB long-distance triathlon team member fractured her little toe six days before the race, but she still managed to finish third in the world in the 40-44 ladies category by crossing the line in 10 hours, 10 minutes and 57 seconds.

She crossed the line more than four minutes ahead of the fourth-placed athlete.

A delighted Camille after the race
A delighted Camille after the race

The race was a long-distance triathlon, with competitors needing to complete a 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim in the Weerwater, followed by a 112 mile (180km) cycle ride before finishing with a marathon (26.2 miles/42.3km).

King, who won silver at the previous world championships in May 2019, said: “Breaking my little toe six days before the race was not ideal preparation, and I doubted whether I should still even be on the start line.

“So there was a high risk that I might not make it around the iron distance course. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try.

“The swim started at 8am in the Weerwater lake in Almere. The morning was windy, and it was causing the water to be pretty choppy. I tried to stay away from packs of swimmers to protect my fractured toe. I knew from experience that it’s easy to get accidentally battered by other competitors during the open-water swim.”

King, who says the swim portion of the race is her most challenging discipline of the three, exited the water after one hour, 14 minutes and seven seconds.

“She followed that up with a ride of five hours, 12 minutes and three seconds, and a marathon of three hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds.

Camille on her TT bike during the 112-mile cycle section two
Camille on her TT bike during the 112-mile cycle section two

Of her cycle, she said: “The course is flat and fast and goes through the Dutch dykes while taking in beautiful sceneries.

“I was feeling quite strong on the bike and enjoyed the course.

“Then came the marathon. I focused on ignoring the pain in my right foot resulting from running on a fractured bone and got on with the task at hand – six laps of a 7km loop around the Weerwater lake.

“I shuffled my way around the course to finish only 15 seconds behind American Monika Poveda and 77 seconds behind first place – Such a close podium!”

Fellow Team GB member Jappas Du Preez, from Hythe, also competed in the long-distance championships, where he produced an outstanding race to win bronze in the 40-44 men’s category.

King also runs a personal training business called Dare 2 Dream Fitness. For more information, visit dare2dreamfitness.co.uk/

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