Hoppe goes back Down Under where it all began

Simon Hoppe.
Simon Hoppe.
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Simon Hoppe will celebrate a special anniversary on the Gold Coast in Australia next week.

The 48 year-old Peterborough triathlete competes in the World Age Group Championships and it will be his 25th appearance for Team GB at European and World Championship level.

From those 25 appearances he has won six medals and achieved 11 top-10 finishes.

And it’s going to be an emotional journey for the Peterborough Triathlon Club (PACTRAC) member.

For not only will he be returning to the scene of his first ever World Championships back in 1991 but this one could well be his last.

Injuries have again hampered his preparations this year and he is considering giving his body a bit of a rest.

He said: “After a couple of injury-ravaged seasons it may be time to finally hang up my tri suit.

“I’ve been proud to have represented Team GB 25 times now and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“But this year’s event will be extra special as it’s going back to where I competed in my first ever World Championships at the tender age of 21.

“I’m 48 now and still just as passionate about the sport, and especially competing at World Championships, as I was back then.

“I’m also just as fast as I was then (if not faster) on the swim and bike legs, although my run speed has been affected by recent injuries.

“I had injury priblems in the run-up to last year’s World Championships but still managed to get a top-10 place so hopefully I can pull a good result out of the bag again this year.”

Hoppe’s best ever result at the World Championships came in 2010 in Budapest, Hungary, when he finished third in the sprint distance race of 750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run. He was actually leading until he pulled his hamstring and had to battle through the pain barrier to win his first World Championship medal.

Hoppe manages to fit his training and racing in alongside his busy family and working life.

He works in Manchester United’s sponsorship department and he’s head coach at PACTRAC with a particular interest in trying to encourage more youngsters join their junior section.

Hoppe said: “I just love the sport of triathlon and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to encourage and inspire other people, of all ages, to take up this great sport.

“It’s a sport that delivers a healthy lifestyle and provides the discipline to achieve in other areas of your life. It’s also great fun and offers the chance to travel and meet other like-minded people.”

Hoppe warmed up for the big event Down Under by finishing second in Sunday’s St Neots Sprint Triathlon. He finished in 1.13.23, five minutes behind James Buchanan, a 35-39 age group competitor.