Orchard keen to run with the professionals
Amateur cross triathlete Elizabeth Orchard is aiming to give the professionals a run for their money and is changing up a gear for the next round of international competitions.
The Epsom resident stormed her way to a gold medal in this year's ITU Cross Triathlon Championships, clearing the field with 12 minutes between her and the second place finisher.
In last month's Xterra World Championships in Hawaii, Orchard placed 11th in the professional women's title.
An impressive feat considering the 26-year-old only took up the sport four years ago and fits in training around the demands of a fulltime job.
Orchard was last year's Xterra world champion in the 25 to 29 age group but has stepped up to try her hand at the professional title on a course which includes a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike trail and 10km run.
"One day I'd really love to win that title. That would be amazing, but in the mean time I'm just aiming to get in the top 10 and then the top five," she says.
"Everyone's really supportive. It's a great community to be a part of."