Marlpool duo retain their paratriathlon British titles

Phil Hogg in action at the World Championships''Photo by British Triathlon
Phil Hogg in action at the World Championships''Photo by British Triathlon

Marlpool paratriathlon aces Phil Hogg and Dave Ellis warmed up for the World Championships later this month in perfect fashion at the weekend.

The pair were defending their titles in their respective categories at the British Triathlon Championships in Liverpool on Sunday and managed to dodge the often extremely wet weather to compete - and win.

They both retained their titles and now look forward to travelling to Canada for the World Championships at Edmonton on August 30.

Both Dave, who represented his country as a swimmer in the 2008 Paralympics, and Phil, a former Great Britain wheelchair basketball player, are still only in their second seasons as paratriathletes.

In 2013, Dave won at the British, European and World events while Phil gained titles at the Europeans and British championships, and came fourth in the Worlds.

Phil, 44, said: “We got up there early and the rain was of biblical proportions but by the time I started, it had stopped.

“I’m not saying it was totally dry but it was far better than it had been. But I don’t really bother about that. It’s not something I can do anything about. I’ve raced and trained in bad conditions plenty of times before.

“We’ve got the Worlds in Edmonton on August 30 so, without wishing to sound disrespectful, you could almost say the British championships was a bit of a stepping stone, somewhere to try out a few things in training and on the day. It went well for me and there was a title to defend too, so I was certainly highly motivated, and very pleased with how it went.

“I did a big chunk of training beforehand so I was ready for it.

“There was plenty at stake in Liverpool. Points picked up this season can be carried over to next season and go towards possible selection for the Paralympics, so it’s important to do well, and there are personal bests to be achieved too.”

For visually impaired Dave, 28, there is the additional challenge of having to pull back the 3mins 45secs headstart given to completely blind competitors in his category, but once again, teamed with guide Luke Watson, he was able to do that.

“We pulled it back again and this time we were able to overtake the leading pair with about 300 metres to go.

“I feel in good shape and I ran really well on the day. I had a good period of training leading up to it and didn’t feel under too much pressure, defending my title. I don’t really think that way.

“I just go out to do what I can do. It was a very good warm-up for the Worlds and I enjoyed the experience.”