Doiuble challenge for Suffolk duo

AN APACHE helicopter pilot and technician from Suffolk are today gearing up for a gruelling road race in Hungary.

AN APACHE helicopter pilot and technician from Suffolk are today gearing up for a gruelling road race in Hungary.

Ray Robinson and Andrew Birch, who work at Wattisham Airfield, will compete in tomorrow's European Duathlon Championships in Budapest, which consists of 40km cycling and 10km running.

The pair, who normally compete in the triathlon for the Army, took part in the British Duathlon Championships in Milton Keynes in April.

Now they are expecting even tougher conditions in temperatures reaching up to 30C in the eastern European country.

Mr Robinson, 47, who is married to Joan and has two children, said: “My wife thinks I am a bit stupid for pushing my body so hard. I like keeping fit and performing the best I can. It will be a good test to see how we do.”

Mr Robinson, a maintenance and test pilot, will compete in the 45-50 age group while Mr Birch, an Apache engineer, will be in the 25-30years category.

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Their trip has been made possible thanks to Hadleigh Glass, Agusta Westland and Serco, who have put sponsorship money towards their �1,000 costs.

For more information, visit www.triathlonbudapest.com