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Ironman New Zealand champ Joe Skipper criticized for 325 km ride

Bike ride that took over nine hours posted on Strava.

With the United Kingdom facing a lockdown, Joe Skipper’s 325 km ride that took him over nine hours has generated criticism online.

Joe Skipper on his way to a sixth-place finish at the 2019 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

British cycling journalist Jack Sexty reported on road.cc this morning on a controversial Strava entry posted by Joe Skipper. The British star, who followed a sixth-place finish in Kona last fall with record-setting wins at Ironman Florida and Ironman New Zealand, completed a 325 km bike ride around Norfolk.

from road.cc

Skipper didn’t break any rules – leaving one’s home in the UK is allowed for a variety of essential needs, such as “shopping for basic necessities,” to look after any medical need, to provide care, or to help a vulnerable person” or to take “one form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle: alone or with members of your household.”

Skipper was alone for his ride and says that he “took precautions,” carrying his own food and only stopping once for water, but that didn’t seem to appease some in the twitter-verse.

Married to a doctor who is dealing with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Skipper says he took advice both from her and her colleagues before embarking on the long effort.

He also indicated that should rules change around the lockdown, he’ll adhere to those.

A long effort like Skipper’s ride is certainly well within his fitness capabilities, but stretches the concept many health professionals are promoting that we should not be “going to the well” during the pandemic in order to maintain our immune system.

The challenge for athletes like Skipper will be figuring out those limits. Fresh off two Ironman-record setting performances, he’s obviously in spectacular shape, so yesterday’s ride might not have been as taxing as it would be for most triathletes.

As the weather gets nicer, many Canadian triathletes will soon be looking to head outside. Those who embark on 325 km rides might want to hold off on posting those to Strava.