Step up for Lewis

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Westhill triathlete Lewis Murchie arrived in Eilat, Southern Israel on Tuesday for the build-up and acclimatisation period prior to his first big race of the triathlon season, the European Standard-distance Age Group Championships 2012.

This will be the first time Lewis has represented Great Britain at age group level, having qualified for this event when he won the Scottish Junior Standard Triathlon title last September.

Lewis has had to work hard since breaking his collar bone in four places over the Christmas period after a nasty fall while cycling, but he hopes the hard work invested in the past four months will pay dividends.

“I’m maybe not quite back to where I was pre-Christmas with my running but my coach Ken Bryson of Total Endurance has worked hard with me to help regain the required stamina for a race like this.”

Lewis, who recently signed a sponsorship deal with Westhill-based oil company TAQA Britanni, will also have to deal with the heat in Southern Israel at this time of year, with daytime temperatures in the high 30s.

Lewis is under no illusions as to how tough the conditions and opposition might be in Israel.

He said: ”This is European level and completely new ground for me, so I’ll take nothing for granted in the water for I know the race will really be won on the bike and on foot. But I’m just excited at the prospect of actually being here, fit and able. And to represent my country at this level for the first ever time is just a great feeling.”

The race is over 1500m in the water, 40k on the cycle and 10k on the run. Lewis will also be riding his new racing bike for the first time at the weekend.

“I only got it last week, thanks to some brilliant mechanical work from the guys at Bike Station in Inverurie,” Lewis said. “I haven’t had much chance to get fully used to it yet. But one thing I do know is that it’s quick!”