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Eccleston sets his sights on European championships
AN Astley triathlete has earned the chance to race at the European Championships after qualifying in only his third competition.
Former St Mary’s pupil Lewis Eccleston will compete in the 2014 Kitzbühel ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon European Championships 20-24 category.
Lewis finished first in his age group in the Newbiggin Sprint qualifying event near Newcastle and mum Jane admits the Astley and Tyldesley Road Runner member’s rise to success has taken even her by surprise.
“He originally joined the club to train for the London Marathon when he was about 17,” she explained. “He was so surprised with how well he did, it came from nowhere but the triathlons stemmed from there.”
“It’s a lot of dedication, but he thrives on it,” she added.
“It’s morning, noon and night trying to fit whatever training he has to do around working full time.
“The support that he’s had from the club has been fantastic – he wouldn’t have been able to get this far without training partners and their help.”
However, with a lack of funding available to triathletes, Lewis’ recent emergence in the sport has proved costly and the 20-year-old is hoping to attract sponsorship to help realise his European Championship dreams.
“It was only his third triathlon when he qualified,” explained Jane.
“He’s done so well, but it is expensive gathering the equipment and covering the travel costs as he doesn’t receive any funding.
“His dad and I are very proud of him, it was really from seeing his training that motivated me to get out running too.”
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