The largest ever paratriathlon of all time, The Paratriathlon World Championships 2010 was completed by 85 competitors, representing 15 countries.
“The race was held in Budapest on 11th September 2010,” says Jimmy. “And I came 6th in my category – which was TRI-1 for paraplegics.
“The race consisted of a 750-metre swim, followed by a 20km handcycle and finished with 5km of wheelchair racing – and I was really pleased with my result.
“Finishing 6th in my category was very positive and I felt happy with it. It was the biggest paratriathlon so far to date and there were world-class athletes taking part so I was very happy that I was in the mix and that I finished competitively.”
Jimmy trains hard throughout the year in order to maximise his performance.
“I probably handcycle for an hour to two hours a day, plus go on my racing wheelchair a couple of times a week for up to an hour and swim once a week,” he says. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep motivated, particularly in the winter, but I enjoy cycling very much and I do the bulk of my training on my handcycle.
“I find variety is the key so I try to mix it up. I go on cycling holidays so it’s not just always doing the same route at home, plus I cycle abroad and I cycle with friends. I try and enter competitions throughout the year, too, so I’ve always got something to aim for.”
Since being involved in a climbing accident in 2004 that left him paralysed from the waist down, Jimmy has taken part in many competitive races.
Last year he won the 2009 British Paratriathlon Championships (held in Rother Valley in the Midlands) in the TRI-1 category and he was also awarded silver in the European Championships held in the Netherlands. Jimmy says he feels extremely proud to have been able to take part in this year’s Paratriathlon World Championships…
“I wanted to take part in the Paratriathlon World Championships because I’ve always been a competitive triathlete – even before my climbing accident,” he says. “And the triathlon was something I wanted to continue with. Obviously I want to push myself to the best of my ability and, when I qualified for the World Championships, I thought I’d go for it.”
Jimmy’s performance in Budapest was watched by his father Mike Goddard, Chairman of Belvoir Lettings which sponsors Jimmy.
“It’s a pretty expensive business and I’m lucky to have Belvoir sponsoring me,” says Jimmy. “I don’t just do the one championship, I do the European Championships, I do the British Championships and there’s an international race series that I try and do as well. Each year Belvoir gives me revenue which goes towards my costs, such as my hotel fees, my air fares, my training costs, the upkeep of my handcycle and membership of a gym, so it’s a real help.
“I now plan to continue with the Paratriathlon and try and get myself into medal position for next year. I also plan to get into competitive handcycling on the European circuit and put myself in contention for the top spots there too.
“My accident changed my life in many ways – but in essence, in the most practical way, it’s given me a change of career,” he said. “Previously I was in the army but the accident made me rethink things and has given me a chance to try and make a career out of sport instead.”
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