A WOMAN who took up running just two years ago, but stopped due to injury earlier this year and took up cycling instead, has just won her first duathlon competition.

Emma Matthews, 22, from Thornton-le-Beans, near Northallerton, used to be an avid horse rider before going to York St John University – and said she only took up running to keep fit.

And on top of all her training, she has managed to come out of university with a first class degree in sport science.

She said: "I started cycling when I got a running injury and fell in love with it. I took part in a duathlon event and thought I'd go for it in a proper competition."

Miss Matthews qualified to represent Great Britain by winning the British Triathlon, Sprint Duathlon qualifier at Bedford Autodrome on October 13.

It has now been announced that the European Triathlon Union (ETU) Duathlon European Championships will be held in Punta Umbria in Spain in March next year.

Miss Matthews said: "I'm really excited to be going as part of the British team. I always wanted to compete and it is something I want to continue alongside work.

"I have been offered a couple of jobs and I think I can definitely continue with duathlon. I'm just decided what to do."

She is currently looking for sponsorship to help with the costs of equipment and travel.

Anyone able to help Miss Matthews can contact stephen.matthews1969@gmail.com.