A TEENAGER from Truro College has beaten more than 65 competitors to be crowned the UK’s national modern triathlon champion.
Chris Harris from Perranwell Station near Truro recorded two personal best times to become the number one under 25 senior UK modern triathlete at a competition in Milton Keynes.
Incredibly the 17 year-old reached this achievement the day after securing his place in the Great Briton modern pentathlon team at a competition against international athletes in Birmingham.
Chris said: “After I finished on Sunday I was feeling completely drained and very relieved to have beaten my most fierce competitors. It was more momentous as it was the first time he had been beaten in four years at national level.”
Modern triathlon events include the three disciplines of shooting, running and swimming while modern pentathlon has the addition of a fencing section.
Chris has also taken part in tetrathlon competitions, which involve shooting, swimming, horse riding and running, since he was eight years old.
To keep his fitness levels up the dedicated teenager, who is the club captain of Truro swimming club, trains every day of the year.
He said: “I train in some form or other everyday. I swim 18 hours a week with Truro swimming club, I run for at least an hour every day before collage, I fence eight hours a week with Truro fencing club, I shoot when I get home from college and try to ride every evening in the summer.
“I compete practically every weekend throughout the year as well, I haven’t had a weekend off since before Christmas.”
On top of his training, Chris is studying towards his final PE, English Literature and Law A level exams in the summer and holds down two jobs at the Royal Oak pub and Perranwell Station village shop.
He said: “My parents have been immensely supportive. I wouldn’t have done anywhere near as well without them. Until last year when I passed my driving test they used to take me everywhere every evening.
“Plus my employers, Yvonne and Nigel Banyard from the Perrnanwell Station shop, have just been so accommodating and supportive. If I have to ring them up and say I can’t make a shift because of training they are fine. They are great people to work for.”
Chris is the only competitive under 19s modern pentathlete, modern triathlete and tetrathlete in Cornwall and Devon.
Unlike most competitors, he does not have a coach and receives no funding from a club, but this isn’t stopping the teen from aiming for gold.
Chris said: “The aim is to get to the Olympics, but getting on to the GB team is pretty cool in itself.
“It is such an immense feeling of pride getting to wear a Great Briton vest. This is what I am doing it for really.”
The talented teen will be representing Great Britain at the World Tetrathlon Championships in Australia this summer.