A HARWICH runner has said she feels “on top of the world” after competing in her first ever triathlon.

Jodi Thomas, 21, travelled south-west to Dorset after last season’s shorter distance races were cancelled due to the pandemic.

But, on Sunday, Jodi made her debut in West Bay, Bridport, at the longer, Olympic distance in “far from ideal” conditions.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Jodi Thomas ran 5.7 milesJodi Thomas ran 5.7 miles

The terrain and weather posed as extra challenges and, due to strong offshore winds, the sea swim was reduced from 1,500 metres to 400 – something Jodi’s father, Ashley, said was “unfortunate” as it is her strongest discipline.

She exited the water placed in a highly respectable eleventh position and then showed her potential with a gritty and determined bike stage which included more than 2,000 feet of climbing into head winds and wet roads, before a dangerous descent down to complete a tough 28 miles of cycling.

Next up was the run, which was just shy of six miles. Her father added: “Jodi showed great courage to pick off several experience runners on the hills before the finish line eventually came into view on the seafront.

“She completed the event in an overall time of three hours and ten minutes – 64th position overall and 15th among the ladies.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“Undoubtedly, she would have finished even higher had the swim not been shortened for safety reasons.”

For Jodi, it was a fantastic first experience competing in the gruelling event.

She said: “It was my first ever triathlon, so why not make it the hilliest route you can find and go straight in with an Olympic distance rather than a sprint?

“I feel on top of the world. I have trained really hard for this and went into it knowing I could not have done anything more to prepare.

“From practicing transitions to running up every hill in the area, I felt good. I had no aim for times going into this, I just wanted to finish and not come last.

“Well, I finished with a smile on my face and definitely didn’t come last, so it was certainly a win for me.”