Ruth putting Hartpury on cross triathlon map with World Championships bow


Hartpury’s Ruth Owen-Evans’ cross triathlon career has taken another giant stride after she stormed to success at the recent Xterra England and European Championships.

After producing a winning time to finish top of her age group at the event held in Cranleigh, Surrey, Ruth now has the chance to showcase her talent on a global scale after securing qualification for the Xterra World Championships that take place in Hawaii in November.

Her rise is all the more impressive given that she only took up the discipline one year ago.

The Performance Lifestyle Manager only took up the sport after making her way to the top of her field as an elite cross-country mountain biker but she has already made an impact in her new discipline, with the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships in Sardinia, Italy the next competition on her agenda.

“It’s a completely new sport for me but I have really enjoyed it so far and qualifying for two World Championships is something I’m really proud of,” Ruth said.

Cross triathlon consists of a 1500-metre open-water swim, a 30-kilometre mountain-biking stage and a 10km trail run. It is different to conventional triathlons due to its rough, hilly terrain and requires a higher degree of technical biking skill.

Ruth produced a strong showing in all three stages of her most recent event, but in particular the mountain-biking section, establishing a 15-minute lead over her nearest competitor.

She said: “The conditions were really tough as it rained heavily the night before and made the course for the bike extremely hard to negotiate. However, they played to my strengths as a mountain biker and I was able to put myself out in front by a large margin.”

Ruth travels out to Italy in a week’s time and she is hoping to produce another positive performance to put herself into contention for honours.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Italy and it will be great to see the progress I have made since starting out last year,” she added.

“I’ve been working hard on improving each element of cross triathlon so hopefully that will show in the results. I’ve heard that the bike section is pretty challenging so hopefully I’ll be able to use that to my advantage.”

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