WEST Devon athlete Trish Deykin struck gold at the European Sprint Triathlon Championships in Dusseldorf on Sunday.
Trish, from Milton Combe, suffers from multiple sclerosis and admitted it was the hardest race she has ever competed in as the field was so so strong, including two ex-elite triathletes.
She won the title in the women’s aged 40 to 44 category and was ninth overall in the championships.
Trish, aged 41, told Times Sport: ‘The swim was a bun fight and although I tend to try and keep out of that situation, my goggles got knocked and started leaking. I came out in the top ten and managed to find my bike in a sea of bikes in transition.
‘The bike was flat with a couple of technical and dangerous corners. There were quite a few crashes.
‘It’s also near enough the same route as the Tour De France on Sunday as the time trial is being held there. The run was also very flat and appeared to be further than 5k.
‘My whole body hurt and I just wanted to stop but I knew the other girls were behind me. I crossed the finish line and collapsed.
‘When I found out I’d beaten the two ex-elites and won I was over the moon. It feels really surreal now. I’m taking it easy for a couple of weeks as my MS has reared its ugly head, but all the pain and discomfort is worth the title of European champion.’
She thanked Mount Kelly for the use of their 50m pool to train for the event.