GB call-up for Fakenham triathlete
By day Matthew Ellis is an insurance broker but the rest of the time he is a triathlete - and a very good one at that.The 31-year-old from Trafford Road, Norwich, who went to school at Colkirk and Fakenham schools and Fakenham College - spends every waking moment he has in helping him be competitive in the continuous 1,500 metre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run event.
By day Matthew Ellis is an insurance broker but the rest of the time he is a triathlete - and a very good one at that.
The 31-year-old from Trafford Road, Norwich, who went to school at Colkirk and Fakenham schools and Fakenham College - spends every waking moment he has in helping him be competitive in the continuous 1,500 metre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run event. And the hard work is paying off.
After only 12 months in the sport, Ellis will represent Great Britain in his age group at the European Triathlon Championships in Holten, Netherlands, in July.
Even Ellis has been surprised by his meteoric rise.
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“I have only been competing in triathlons for just under a year and although my original aim in the first season was to see how I would get on, I was more successful than I expected to be in such a short time,” said Ellis.
“My first event was the Supersprint in Waveney, which I entered as an introduction to the sport and even though I knew I was capable of pushing the leaders, I was a little surprised when I came away with a win - especially against people supported through sponsorship and in national rankings, on a standard road bike that had a cracked frame.”
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Ellis consolidated with an impressive showing in his first Olympic distance event, the Norwich Triathlon, where he posted the second fastest time but, having broken a technical rule by removing his helmet before racking his bike, Ellis was given a two minute penalty, leaving him fourth overall.
Both races had the consolation of coming first in his age group and having never finishing below third against his peers, Ellis cannot wait for his European challenge and GB debut.
“I want to be right up there in my age group and I think top 20 overall is achievable,” said Ellis. “Although I am aiming to finish in the top five I have never raced at this level before, so the standard is a little unknown. In qualifying for the championships I finished fifth overall, despite suffering cramps and losing my chain on the cycle section. That cost me second place.
“However the guy who won is funded by the National Lottery and can concentrate on the event full-time, so I was still pleased. The rest of the GB team in my age group will be right up there. Having said that, everybody there will be tough competition as they are the best in Europe.”
Despite a full-time job, Ellis finds the time to train once, if not twice a day, using the UEA Sportspark and Elite Strength and Conditioning Centre in north east Norwich. Ellis also played basketball for King's Lynn in the National League for three years, before turning to triathlon.
To help Ellis off his old cracked bike frame, CyclesUK - based at Pilch sports store in Norwich - have supplied him with some new bike equipment since the start of the year.
If you are also interested in sponsoring Matthew Ellis, you can e-mail him at email@example.com