Joe Skipper: ‘My performance was embarrassing’

Joe Skipper rides the bike during the World Championships (Picture: Petko Beier / World Triathlon)

Joe Skipper was considered one of the biggest favorites for the World Championships Long Distance at Ibiza, but last weekend he ended up finishing 22nd. The Brit experienced a typical offday. “I really felt like I let a lot of people down.”

“It’s taken me a while to post anything up from this weekends race as honestly I was so disappointed with my race: it was probably one of the worst races I’ve had. At the start of the swim I slipped over which put me right on the back foot as I then had to start off at the back behind everyone. I actually practiced the entry quite a few times before the race and was confident of a good start, so this was very disappointing and to be honest the stumble at the start of the swim really just summed up my day.”

“Onto the bike and I was riding pretty decent: the numbers were good and felt like I was doing a decent ride for me. I lost time to the couple of guys right at the front but rode very similar to the big chase group ahead of me. Normalized power was 327 for 2:50 hours, so pretty solid. I took the last 10 minutes easy as well as it was downhill and wanted to make sure I had a good run.”

“But onto the run I just felt absolutely terrible. I felt sick and my legs just felt like they wouldn’t go. Since the race I’ve actually looked at what my heart rate was and it was very high for the pace I was running. To be honest I just felt empty and could have so easily pulled out, but a couple of things kept me going.”

“First of all the support put on course was amazing. I had loads of support from spectators, other athletes that were racing as well and from some of the pro athletes that raced the PTO race the day before. Thanks guys, it was really nice and i really appreciated all the support. And second of all, racing for GB is a great privilege and I didn’t want to be someone that took an entry for the race from another athlete that would have at least finished.”

“It was an embarrassing performance and I really felt like I let a lot of people down. Sport definitely feels like a rollercoaster and you get some amazing highs like when you win a race, you get a new personal best, a breakthrough performance. If it was easy and it happened every time you raced it wouldn’t mean much. This was definitely one of the lows and I actually booked a flight home the night of the race as I was that disappointed with how it went.”