A Mid Sussex Triathlete's biggest race ever will be on 8th October 2016, when this 52 year old GP goes up against Beijing Olympic Gold medalist and reigning Ironman World Champion.
In March 2015, James was almost brought to tears when he received a phone call and an email form The World Triathlon Corporation "to formally congratulate you on being selected to compete at the 2016 Ironman World Championship", "for dedication, not only to Ironman but to the sport of triathlon".
Some call it the world's toughest single-day sporting event. The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii is approximately 4 times the distance of an OlympicTriathlon. Participation in this particular race is the ultimate dream for almost all triathletes but most will never get the opportunity. It is a privilege to be one of the 2,000 professionals and amateurs to be selected out of around a quarter of a million who enter qualifying races each year.
This Hassocks resident and father of 3 has completed 17 official Ironman Triathlon races since 2009, which are all qualifying opportunities for the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Despite ranking highly on several occasions, James never achieved automatic World Championship Qualification with a podium finish. His best finish time is 9 hours 45 mins, which is quite good for an amateur, but the professional world record time of 7 hours 41minutes is held by Germany's Jan Frodeno.
Jan Frodeno won The Triathlon Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympics and he will be the defending Ironman World Champion racing this year against James at Kona, Hawaii. Triathlon offers priceless opportunities for amateurs to race alongside the top professionals. James is dedicating this race to a close relative who has Alzheimer's Disease and many people have already kindly made donations to the Alzheimer's Society via his site. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Graham19
Mid Sussex Triathlon Club is the main reason for James' sporting progress. When he joined the club in 2009, his best marathon time was 4:45 but in April this year James finished Brighton Marathon in 2:51. This terrific club caters for able-bodied and disabled athletes of all standards from social-joggers to those of international age-group standard. James also thanks Jane Roweth (of Hassocks) at www.aspirefitnesssolutions.co.uk for helping him with fitness and nutrition advice. We are blessed to have a friendly supportive fitness community locally. However, the biggest thanks of all go to a wonderful supportive wife, Helen.