Joe Skipper targets top five at Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

Joe Skipper during the 2016 Taupo Ironman on March 5, 2016 in Taupo, New Zealand. Photo by Mead Nor

Joe Skipper during the 2016 Taupo Ironman on March 5, 2016 in Taupo, New Zealand. Photo by Mead Norton/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

Norwich triathlon star Joe Skipper tackles the heat and humidity of the Ironman World Championship again in Hawaii tomorrow.

The Cringleford-based former Notre Dame High School pupil finished the gruelling event in eight hours, 36 minutes and two seconds last year, finishing 13th overall.

On that occasion the Lowestoft-raised athlete was the second Briton to cross the line upon completion of the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle and marathon (26.2.2 miles) run.

Since then however the 28-year-old broke the British Ironman record at Challenge Roth in Germany in July, finishing in 07:56.23 to become the first British athlete to go under eight hours. That was despite breaking his collarbone late last year.

'I want to try and get in the top five, that's going to be my goal,' he told Babbitville Radio. 'I'm swimming better now than what I was, so I'm hoping that if I have a really good day maybe I can get on to the back of that first pack.

'But if not it's not really like I'm going to think my race is over because last year I managed to ride only two minutes slower than the fastest bike split, so I've got the confidence that I've got a better set-up now and I could hold them and even take time out of them.

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'Then if I can run even better than what I did At Roth – which I think is the fastest in an Ironman distance this year – you've got to back yourself when you've done a run like that (02:38.52) coming into it.'

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