A CIDER firm employee has qualified for the British Duathlon team.

Steve Rooke, an employee of Westons Cider for over 36 years, has qualified to compete in the 2024 GB Age Group Team for Duathlon.

A duathlon is a multi-sport endurance event, consisting of running and cycling.

Typically a duathlon is held in a continuous run-bike-run format. Like triathlon, the time spent transitioning between the disciplines contributes to the overall race time and there are plenty of different race distances on offer.

The majority of duathlons take place on tarmac roads/paved surfaces but you’ll also find off road events which involve mountain biking and trail running.

Steve, who is a Process Manager at the Much Marcle drinks producer, has already competed in the European Triathlon in Portugal where he finished 14th in the age group, despite doing the first 5km run in under 18 minutes, averaging 22mph on the bike and doing the final run at 6-minute miles.

Later this year he will take part in the World Sprint and World Standard Duathlon championships happening in Australia on August 15-25.

Steve, now 55 years old, started competing through his local running club, the Ledbury Harriers.

He said “I took up running when I was 38, mainly to get fit and help coach my son and the team at the Ledbury Swifts football team.”

After entering a few local triathlons, it wasn’t long before Steve had a few wins in his age group. “I started competing for fun, just giving it a go and then after a while I’d got to a standard that I am proud to say, I can now compete for my country. I never thought I’d make it this far!”

Steve didn’t start swimming until he was 45, but has trained hard and now he is one of only two others in his age group to qualify for the two races in Australia.

He is the only competitor from Herefordshire to qualify in the top four in the UK in his age category, 55-59 years. Keenly supported by his employer, he’ll be sporting the Westons branding across his new racing kit.

If you’re interested to find out more please visit British Triathlon at britishtriathlon.org/.

We wish Steve the best of luck in his sporting endeavours.