University of Stirling triathletes Sophia Green and Cameron Main will line up against the best athletes in the world this weekend as they compete at the under 23 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton, Canada.
The 21-year-olds both qualified for the Great Britain team after their best seasons on the senior European Cup circuit; Green winning her first senior ETU title and Main making his first podium.
“What I’m looking forward to most at the World Championships is just being on the start line with some of the best athletes in the world,” said Main who, like Green, will be moving up to race the ‘Standard’ distance - 1500m swim, 46.4km bike ride and 10km run - this weekend.
“The race is going to be quite different to some of my other races because of the level and the swim’s going to be tough.
“The standard distance is a long way so after the swim I just need to remind myself that there’s still a 40km bike and a 10km run to go. So I’m going to just enjoy it and keep a calm head throughout the race.”
Preparations have been going well for the pair who have been making the most of a fine summer and the spectacular outdoor training locations close to Stirling.
Nearby Loch Ard, one of a number of natural venues discovered by University’s High Performance Triathlon Coach Andrew Woodroffe in an effort to keep training fresh and motivational, has been a boon for open water swim training. Whilst leafy lanes in the Trossachs have been perfect for cycling and running.
Green and Main have hit a rich vein of form this season.
The benefits of training in the greater outdoors have not been lost on Green: “My preparations for the World Championships have been going really well. I’ve just had a consistent block of training so I’ll hopefully put that into practice this weekend.
“I’m really excited to head out to Canada and just make the most of the opportunity in my first standard distance race.
“My aim for the event is to have a strong swim and bike leg and just work from there. Hopefully pull together a good run as that’s what we’ve really been working on.”
Coach, Andrew Woodroffe (centre) is delighted by the athletes' progress.
Few are happier than Woodroffe at the pair’s selection for the major under 23 triathlon of the year: “We chatted about these goals in lockdown and it’s easy to put these goals down on paper.
“But to deliver the performances and the level required to get there in the end is phenomenal and it’s credit to their hard work, commitment and drive.
“There’s no reason why they shouldn’t race with confidence, race with pride. Firstly, I want them to enjoy the experience and I want to see them confident and putting down results in a swim, bike, run that we know they’re capable of.”
Find out more about the University of Stirling performance triathlon programme.