A mum whose daughter got to compete alongside a three-time Paralympian says she had a lump in her throat as she crossed the finish line.
Ceris Williams’ daughter Elan was competing in the Superhero Tri series at Eton Dorney last weekend.
The day included two events, with Elan and her dad competing as a pair with a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run in the first part.
The second part of the day saw Elan, Sophie Christiansen and another amateur para-athlete compete in a relay, with Elan taking on the 5km run with support from her brother.
As well as meeting her hero Sophie, Elan was also filmed for a Channel 4 show based on the day.
Ceris said: “We’re extremely proud of her. I was watching her out on the lake, it’s quite a distance with all the other children and adults. The children were sat in kayaks with the adults swimming and some of the children had major physical disabilities
“They’re really trusting the swimmer and you just think, plenty of able bodied children wouldn’t feel safe out there. They’re so brave. They’re smiling and they’ve got something special in them, I think.
“I was really proud seeing them out on the lake, I had a lump in my throat.”
Elan and her dad Dion came close to scooping the top prize for the first event of the day.
Ceris added: “It was a full triathlon with a sidekick, the athlete needed support. They swam first, Elan sat in the kayak with her dad swimming the 750m in the lake.
“Then, they had the 20km bike ride. Dion was on his bike and Elan on her adaptable trike everyone fundraised for.
“Then, they had a 5km run, and Elan ran the last 200 metres of that herself.
“They did it in an hour-and-a -half and came second. They did really well to come behind a South African family, who do Ironman South Africa together, and they were just two-and-a-half minutes behind.
“Then there was the celebrity relay with Sophie Christiansen, who’s her hero.”
Ceris says Elan had a whole list of things to ask Sophie when they met, but was too star-struck to ask anything!
“They met up beforehand and Elan was gobsmacked, really,” said Ceris.
“She was quiet for a while, she just kept looking at her.
“(Former sprinter) Iwan Thomas was there interviewing for the Channel 4 show that Elan is featured in.
“Her brother Caio supported her on the relay part.
“He pushed her and then she did the last 250m herself.
“She was very starstruck, they got on really well.
“Elan had a load of questions to ask her, but never really got the questions out; she was so busy being photographed - they kept smiling from ear to ear.
“They’ve both got similar disabilities. Sophie said Elan was just like she was when she was younger, and gave her some advice about her own sport of dressage.”
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