Cross triathlon talent Rory Downie is pushing for a hat-trick of victories following the double header of European U23 and Scottish titles in recent weeks.
Downie – a specialist at the off-road mountain bike format – enjoyed success at the European Cross Triathlon Championship in Den Haag, Holland on 14 July before sealing the Scottish Cross Championship in the Scottish Borders seven days later.
Now, the 23-year-old University of Stirling Sports Studies graduate from Edinburgh wants to complete his first season as a full-time triathlete with a third win at either the German or Czech Championships both in August.
He said: “I’d like to keep the results coming, maybe compete in more races abroad and actually make a living out of it. I’ve put in so many hours of training over the years, and I’m glad I’ve found the discipline that suits me best.
“I had been doing a lot of training for the German and Czech Championships for the past few weeks, so I was exhausted before the Scottish race even started. However, it’s one of those things where, when the gun goes off, nothing matters but you and the race.
“I’ve been at this game a long time, and for me it was quite special to win one because I’ve always come in second or third place but never first.
“At the Europeans, I didn’t know how well I was doing until the second lap of the run, when I heard the commentator say I was in the lead. I’m really happy that finally everything is starting to come together.”
Cross triathlon continues to grow apace and Downie believes its appeal lies in the adventure. “I personally find that there is a lot of camaraderie among the athletes,” added Downie.
“There’s the same level playing field in every race, but in cross triathlon it’s more about the challenge. There’s a sense of adventure in every race, and that’s what I look forward to.”
Downie was part of the University's International Sports Scholarship Programme which currently supports nine triathletes, including Mathematics student Marc Austin, who collected a bronze medal at the 2012 Tabor ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup on Sunday.