Joe Skipper is sure running and cycling efforts can shoulder the burden at Challenge Wanaka

Joe Skipper takes a break from training ahead of his big trip to New Zealand. Picture: SUBMITTED

Joe Skipper takes a break from training ahead of his big trip to New Zealand. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Joe Skipper is hoping a shoulder injury doesn't leave his Challenge Wanaka hopes sinking without a trace.

The Cringleford triathlete, 27, suffered a heavy fall while biking as part of his winter training. But that crash, and surgery, still hasn't stopped him from flying to New Zealand to begin the competitive start of his 2016 season.

The professional sportsman takes on Wanaka, an ironman distance event that takes place today, and Skipper admits he isn't sure how he'll fare after his painful crash.

The Tri-Anglia member wrote in a blog on his website: 'I haven't missed that much cycling wise as I was back on the bike three to four days after the accident using a dustbin to support my shoulder. I've been getting some good sessions in.

'Running wise I initially started on the cross-trainer, which I've used to great success before when I've been injured, and then after two weeks once I got the all clear from the doctor I've been back running on the roads.

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'I'm sure I'll be in decent bike and run shape but who knows how I'll go in the swim with the very limited swim training I'll have done leading into it. I'll certainly be giving it my all and if I didn't think I could do a good race I wouldn't go but I think that with my bike and run training I'll be strong all the way to the end so it's certainly not going to be over until I cross that line.'

Wanaka is recognised as the world's most scenic long distance triathlon, set against the lake and mountain backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park in New Zealand's South Island.

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After this weekend's epic 140.6-mile (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle, 26.2-mile run raced in that order without a break) effort, Skipper will remain in the country to take on Ironman New Zealand on March 5.

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