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Canham claims top crown to add to list of impressive successes

North Luffenham triathlete Roger Canham has added a world championship crown to his impressive list of successes.

Canham was crowned number one in his 55-59-years age group at the World Long Distance Triathlon Championships.

It follows his success at the European Long Distance Championships in Spain in 2010 as well as qualifying and competing in 10 ironman world finals.

World champion Roger Canham (9898240)
World champion Roger Canham (9898240)

He finished 56th overall at the event in Ponteverde, Italy, to top his section after completing a 1,900m swim, 67.5-mile bike ride and 19-mile run.

Roger said: "It still hasn’t sunk in really, winning gold and being crowned world champion was never in my contemplation when I started out in this sport 17 years ago.

"I had a plan to try and win a title this year and I was giving it everything but that’s still more of a wish list than a certainty.

"I couldn’t be more proud and so grateful for all the support I get from family and friends."

Roger had emerged from the swim in eighth place in his category but, by the transition, he had gained a further spot.

The bike section was three laps of a 22.5 mile course and, by the end of the first circuit, he was among the top three in his category.

This was further boosted by the end of the second lap as Roger felt he had created a gap sufficient for the pack not to see him anymore and therefore he could focus on fueling for the run.

Despite not having run 19 miles for six months, Roger's pace was comfortably ahead of his target as he maintained his rhythm to take the world title.

World champion Roger Canham (9898234)
World champion Roger Canham (9898234)

Roger added: "The swim was a deep water mass start and, throughout the race, I was toe-to-toe with my peers.

"When being passed I would have to dig deeper to remain in contention or when passing I could surge to create a gap and move up through the field.

"The bike course had some hairy descents and dead turns so I worked hard to keep the power on up the hills and used any aero advantage I could on the long downhill sections.

"I was desperate to know my placing and whether I could be conservative with my run pace or needed to red line it to catch anyone in front of me.

"I then just locked into a pace on the run that I felt comfortable with so I could compose myself and keep a strong rhythm.

"I was less stressed about my position as I knew my run split would probably be the fastest on the day.

"Simply by staying on my pace would be good enough for the win and my mind started to drift to the finish line and the prospect of my first world title.

"I seemed to float through the next two laps and I before I knew it I was running down the finish chute to take the tape."

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