Students Staff

29 July 2016

Former Essex student breaks British Ironman Record

Photo of Joe Skipper at the finish line

Joe Skipper at the finish line

Essex alumnus Joe Skipper is the first British athlete to break the British Ironman Record and complete a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a marathon run in under eight hours.

Norwich athlete Joe competed in the annual Challenge Roth Ironman-distance race along with another 5,000 competitors. After an extraordinary performance, Joe came second behind 2008 Olympic triathlon champion, Jan Frodeno.

Joe completed the 2.4 mile swim in 52 minutes, the 112 mile individual time trial cycle in 4 hours 20 minutes, and then put in the fastest 26.2 mile marathon run of the day in 2 hours 38 minutes.

Joe said: “This was an incredible achievement and I am really excited for the future. My performance has improved a lot over the last few years and it’s exciting to think about the possibilities ahead as I know I can achieve a lot more.”

Before the competition Joe trained and worked with experts from the Human Performance Unit at the University of Essex who helped him improve his sports nutrition strategies.

Chris McManus, Human Performance Unit Manager, said: “Working with Joe has been amazing. We spent time ensuring his energy intake met the high training demand, whilst attempting to exploit all possible training adaptations to improve his race performance. His time of 7:56:23, the fastest ever Ironman time set by a British athlete, is a testament to how hard Joe has worked.”

The Challenge Roth attracts some of the biggest names in the sport and another 5,000 athletes from 60 nations along with 180,000 spectators making it the largest long-distance triathlon event in the world.

Earlier this year Joe came second at Ironman New Zealand. Next up is the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October where Joe will compete for a podium place and a shot at the $120,000 first prize.

Photo of Joe Skipper

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