Duathlete Nigel Powley to make GB debut at 50

Ipswich duathlete Nigel Powley will realise a lifelong dream this August by representing Team GB at the European Championships at the age of 50.

The competition in Weyer, Austria will be his first international event.

"If I get to wear the red, white and blue of Great Britain, it's something that I can always say I've done," he told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"I could easily sit drinking beer and getting fat, but this is a new goal and a new ambition."

Powley holds a collection of local records at Felixstowe Road Runner's Club, but never quite made the grade for Team GB in his youth.

After marrying his wife Joanne last year, he decided to give competition another go and qualified to represent Team GB in the 50-54 age group.

"I started out in 1983 and did the first Ipswich marathon," he said.

"I wasn't a natural athlete but I trained harder than anyone else and that's probably why I still hold some of the records.

"Myself and Joanne sat down, asked what we wanted out of life and we both agreed that we wanted to grow old ungracefully."

The championships in Weyer,  held on 24 August, coincide with the weekend of Joanne's birthday, who said it was important that her husband did not give up on his ambitions.

"Watching Nigel compete at European level far outweighs any birthday celebrations I had planned," she said.

"Life goes on. Once you hit 50 you don't have to stop dreaming and following your goals."