Hawaii place confirmed for Downham triathlete at World Ironman Championships
A Downham triathlete is off to Hawaii in October to compete in the World Ironman Championships.
Josh Holman is heading to the island in the Pacific Ocean after finishing fourth in a major Ironman event.
Holman, who went to school in Downham and became an engineer at British Sugar Wissington, has qualified for October’s Ironman World Championships in Kona.
The 31-year-old will be taking on many of the world’s top triathletes after qualifying thanks to an impressive fourth-place finish in the Barcelona Ironman event.
“I will be training to a specific plan and looking to build throughout the season,” said Holman. “I will test myself by competing in some shorter races across the season and gaining as much experience as I can.
“I am also blessed to train with an amazing group of athletes, including professional Ironman Joe Skipper, who has finished fifth at the Ironman World Championships.
“We push each other to be the best that we can be week in, week out.”
Holman’s love for long-distance triathlon began in 2016 when he competed in Ironman UK in Bolton with his brother John, to raise money for charity after John lost one of his best friends to cancer at 29.
Holman is now a triathlon coach and sports therapist practising in Norwich between training and competing.
He said: “My main motivation for doing triathlon is simply that I love it.
“I enjoy the training and working on my weaknesses to improve as an athlete. I enjoy training with others and the camaraderie this brings
“I love testing my limits in both training and racing and seeing just how deep I can go and how much I am willing to suffer. I love racing and trying to better my times.”
However, the route towards world glory is not without pain.
Holman crashed on his cycle in an event in Wales, suffering what could have been life-changing injuries when he fracturing his C5 vertebrae and broke his jaw in two places.
Since then Holman has battled through much treatment and physio but the second part of the 2023 season saw him performing back to his best and still improving.
He posted a time of 2:32 in a compromised state of repair in the London Marathon and finished on the podium in some triathlon competitions, as well as being part of the winning team in the Round Norfolk Relay.
However, his most high-profile result came in October at the Barcelona Ironman.
On a hot day, Holman entered the sea with 2,500 competitors for a 2.4-mile swim and emerged in a pack of leading athletes. A run up the beach to his bicycle went well and he was positioned 16th.
The 112-mile cycle section was along the coast and inland on closed roads.
The three laps were busy and fast and not short of accidents but Holman was on fire and moved up to eighth for the transition to a 26.2-mile marathon run.
On three laps of the seafront circuit, Holman continued to make up places and crossed the finishing line fourth.
Holman is seeking help towards his travel and competition costs for Hawaii.
Potential sponsors can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Instagram – ironman.josh