A COCKERMOUTH father and daughter represented Great Britain recently at an international duathlon in Spain.

Ian and Rachael Vatter, from Eaglesfield, raced in the 2021 world age-group duathlon championships in Aviles, Northern Spain.

Rachael was delighted to make it on to the podium after coming second, capping a great sporting year.

The championships were initially scheduled to take place in Amsterdam in 2020 but due to the pandemic they were postponed to 2021 and also relocated to Northern Spain.

Ian, 59, was racing in the 55-59 age group and Rachael, 24, in the 20-24 age group.

The weather had not been good in the run up to the event but thankfully changed.

"After several days of rain race day dawned dry and cool, we lined up with our respective age-groups," said Ian, who works at Sellafield and trains with Cockermouth-based Trilakeland.

"I finished 22nd in my race and Rachael finished second to win the silver medal in her age group."

The talented pair who have represented their country many time were pleased to be back competing in a global field.

"It was nice to be racing again with international competition after so many races had been cancelled or postponed," said Ian.

"The only nations not sending teams were Australia and New Zealand due their ongoing travel restrictions."

The event capped a great year for Rachael, who was first female at the Bassenthwaite Sprint Triathlon and a member of the fastest female team at the National Triathlon Relay Championships.

She also finished 4th at the European Triathlon Championships in Valencia in August.

"Rachael has now represented GB 19 times since 2015, standing on the podium eight times," said Ian.

"I have represented GB seven times since 2017."

Rachael graduated this summer with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University and has now started a PhD researching the design of sports products for women post pregnancy, also at Loughborough University.

She trains with the university's development squad

Both of them had qualified to race in the European Championship this year but the GB team was not allowed to travel to Romania due to Covid restrictions so their qualification has been rolled over to next year.

"That will be our next international event where we will both be moving up an age-group," said Ian.

"Rachael is also looking at joining a triathlon squad based in Madrid to compete in the Spanish Grand Prix series during 2022."