Sudbury-born paratriathlete Chris Frost rubbed shoulders with the world’s elite when he competed at the ITU World Championships in London.
The 42-year-old, who became British champion in July, battled through tough weather conditions in Hyde Park to finish 11th in the Tri-4 class in a time of one hour 12 minutes and 55 seconds.
“It was a pretty gruelling race — the swim was tough going and the bike was very wet with quite a slippery course,” said the former Bury St Edmunds St Benedict’s Catholic School pupil.
“It was my first major event and if anyone had offered me 11th place before the race I would have taken it.”
Such an achievement is all the more remarkable considering Frost, whose mum still lives in Melford Road, Sudbury, only took up the sport two years ago.
“Having looked at the times of the top athletes in my category, I figured I could probably get to that level if I put the training in.
“I thought I’d give it a go and had my first race in July 2011, so I’d been aiming to be British champion for two years.”
Success comes at a price though, with Frost having to train six or seven days a week to meet the tough demands of triathlon.
Not only that, but the world number 34 must also juggle family life and a job as a planning consultant in Tunbridge Wells.
“My wife Becky and six-year-old daughter Kate are incredibly supportive and to be honest I don’t think I’d be able to do it without them.”
With paratriathlon being added to the Paralympic programme for Rio de Janeiro in 2016, there may be a new goal for Frost to aspire to, although changes in the sport mean it is difficult to gauge the likelihood of success.
“I would love to be there (Rio) in three years’ time but there is a big shake-up in terms of how athletes are classified,” he said.
“It is getting tougher all the time and there are a lot of younger guys coming through and transferring from other sports which makes it difficult to know how hard it would be.”
In the mean time, Frost can take a well-earned rest after his recent exploits, although he admits it will be strange having time to put his feet up.
He said: “My coach Paula Dewar from the VO2 Maximum Racing team has given me two weeks off now so I’ll be doing no training at all.
“I’m used to going out to train every day, but I should probably spend some time with my family”