A Yorkshire Bank partner who started competing in triathlons in memory of his aunt has won the National Triathlon Championship in Malta.
Mark Sykes took part in the Stratford Triathlon in 2005 to raise money for Sir Michael Sobell House Hospice in Oxford which had cared for his aunt, Judith Coughlyn.
Since then he has represented Britain across the globe and secured his first title when he defeated 61 competitors to be crowned the National Triathlon Champion in a time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds in Malta.
Mr Sykes, who is a business partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre at the Ricoh Arena in Coventy, finished 15 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Keith Galea from Malta.
The 30-year-old swam 1.5 km in 22 minutes 46 seconds and completed 40 km on a bike in 59 minutes 26 seconds before running 10km in 40 minutes four seconds.
He said he was delighted to have secured his first championship title after he had been invited to take part in the competition by the Malta Tourism Authority.
“This was my last event in this year’s triathlon calendar and it was fantastic to finish on such a positive note,” he said.
“I have developed my cycling and running over the last few years but swimming is still my weakest section.
“I have been going to Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre every Tuesday at 5.30am for two hours to join members of Coventry Masters, which is part of Coventry Swimming Club, to improve and I think that played a part in winning in Malta.”
Paul Reeves, managing partner at Yorkshire Bank’s FSC, said his colleague’s achievements were testimony to his dedicated training programme.
“Mark can be seen running and cycling in Kenilworth in all weathers throughout the year and he goes swimming at a time when the rest of his colleagues are still asleep,” he said.
“We are really proud of him for winning such a prestigious competition and wish him the best of luck in Spain next year when he represents the city and his country.”