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Tough Triathlon For Graduate

29 October 2012

Graduate Engineer, Ben Howard, is back at Costain after taking a nine month unpaid sabbatical to compete as a professional athlete on the European circuit.

Ben competed in the multi-discipline sport of Triathlon where athletes compete for honours in three continuous events – a swim, a cycle race and then a lung-bursting run to the finish. Ben took part in seven races across the continent, including Portugal, Estonia, Mallorca and France, and secured a top-10 finish in all but one race with two 2nd and one 3rd place podium finishes. He also notched up two wins on the domestic circuit.

Distances vary depending on the competition. In the 2011 season, Ben covered distances that you would normally see in the Olympics - a 1500m swim, a 40km cycle race and 10km run. However, on his sabbatical, Ben upped his game to compete in middle-distance racing which comprises a 1900m swim, a 90km cycle race and a 21km, or a half marathon, run.

“Costain has been very understanding and supportive about my ambition to compete and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had, not only for being able to go away and compete but also to come back and resume my career,” said Ben.

Ben was sponsored by the Company through university and joined Costain full time as a Graduate Engineer in 2010 to work on the 4Delivery Brighton & Hove project at Peacehaven a mere month after winning the World Amateur Triathlon Championships in Budapest.

Ben is now back at Costain working on the London Bridge Redevelopment Project, which he says is a “fantastic project with incredible opportunities.”

“I enjoyed the experience but there are only a few triathletes at the top level that can make a living out of the sport while the rest are struggling to get by. I managed to get support from sponsors that just about recovered the cost of my kit and race entries, while my race winnings covered my other costs,” said Ben.