Spirit of Monmouth Running Club’s Matt Unsworth took on the ‘Challenge Family - The Championship’ triathlon in Slovakia on Sunday, reports VICKY ROBERTS.

The event is a middle distance triathlon qualification event through their races held all over the globe throughout the year.

Matt qualified through Challenge Wales in Fishguard held last June.

And the 2023 event took place at the incredible x-bionic® sphere Slovakian Olympic Training Centre, in Šamorín, Slovakia, 20km southeast of the capital Bratislava.

Matt completed The Championship Challenge consisting of a 1.9km Swim – 90km Bike – 21.1km run in 5 hours 15 minutes 38 seconds, which put him 29th in his age category against 18 other nationalities and 244th overall.

Matt said performance wise it was below average, and a few minutes off pace on the bike was more disappointing than the time he lost on the hot half marathon, after a lack of running with an injury in the lead up to the event. He only entered the race on the morning of the deadline, one week beforehand so it’s been a tough few weeks.

This was a global qualification event and Matt said he really enjoyed the experience.

It was a fantastic venue, with a great atmosphere and he was glad that he committed to do it.

Spirit of Monmouth congratulated him for qualifying and taking part in an amazing challenge.

The previous Tuesday (May 16) Nick Sloper took on the Llanfrynach 3-4-5, a four-mile series race, consisting of undulating paths with brilliant views of the Brecon Beacons.

Nick came in eighth in his age category with a time of 32mins 37secs.

On Thursday (May 18), Nick and Steve Reason ran the Dick Whittington 5k, a very steep and hilly Forest of Dean race.

Nick said it was a lung-bursting trail run and finished finish 20th in 34.22 followed by Steve in 23rd in 35.54.

Anyone interested in running and joining a local club can take a look at Spirit’s website spiritofmonmouth.co.uk/ or contact [email protected] for more information.