Albury paratriathlete Justin Godfrey has overcome one of his toughest races to claim a fourth world title.
The 42-year-old conquered the gruelling course in the Cross Triathlon World Championships at Lake Crackenback in the Snowy Mountains.
“I really liked it, it’s more challenging than your normal event,” he said.
“You go through dips, over logs, there’s big rock ledges and you even run 200m down a river.”
You go through dips, over logs, there’s big rock ledges and you even run 200m down a river.
Godfrey lost his lower right leg following complications after a motorbike crash when he was 15.
He wears a blade, and the off-road event certainly tested his agility.
“The qualifying event for the world titles was also here at Lake Crackenback earlier this year, and I really had to focus on putting my blade in the right spot, dodging the rocks,” he said.
“The blade is good on the flat, but because of the curve it wants to push you down the hill quicker.”
It was Godfrey’s first attempt at the Cross Triathlon titles after snaring three world crowns in the regular paratriathlon.
The event consisted of a 500m swim, 12k mountain bike leg and a 3.3k trail run, with Godfrey clocking one hour and 16 minutes.
“I like both events, I like the speed of the paratriathlon, pushing yourself against the clock,” he said.
“But there’s nothing too technical about it on the bike, there might be a few 90 degree corners, but that’s it.
“You’re still pushing yourself against the clock in cross, but on the mountain bike you’re riding along the side of a hill, up a hill, and you have to keep an eye out for any obstacles, like the rocks.
“Physically, it’s a tough event.”
Godfrey had a mountain bike background, before entering triathlons in 2012.
The win had a nice touch too as Godfrey achieved it on his eldest daughter’s birthday.
“It was good to have Isabella’s birthday and then win the gold medal,” he said.
Finances will dictate if the father-of-two defends his title in Canada next year.
“I’m a professional athlete, but I’m not a professionally sponsored athlete,” he said.
He’ll also look to contest the Oceania Championships in Tasmania in March.
But the major aim is the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
“My event wasn’t at Rio, but I’m hoping it will be available in Japan,” he said.
There’s five categories for those athletes with a disability, with Godfrey in the PT3 section.
Godfrey has a world-ranking of 12 in his category, with the next four years devoted to pushing that towards number one.