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UK Pro Spartan team call-up Jade Skillen for 2020

Red Lodge’s Jade Skillen has once again been named in the UK Pro Spartan team for 2020.

Along with seven of her compatriots, Skillen will compete at five gruelling events – all of which have been pushed back due to coronavirus.

The campaign had been due to get under way last weekend, but it is now set to start in Market Harborough on July 11.

Jade Skillen (33872464)
Jade Skillen (33872464)

Overall, Skillen will test herself in two 21k beast races, two 10k super races and a 5k sprint.

“I am chuffed to bits to have been named in the squad again,” said the ex-Tottenham Hotspur Ladies and West Ham United Ladies footballer.

“There are four females in the team instead of three this year, so it is going to be tougher to be the UK’s number one.

Jade Skillen (33872467)
Jade Skillen (33872467)

“It is also going to be more challenging because the events will now be taking place in the height of summer, and probably be every other weekend. Normally you would get three weeks or so to recover.

“It is going to be a juggling act, especially with running my business alongside all of the training, but I have got a good structure and some really good support. I would love to finish in the top three.”

As well as this summer’s demands, Skillen also has one eye on the 2020 Spartan World Championship, which is set to take place in Abu Dhabi over the weekend of December 4.

It will be a different experience to the 2019 Championships in Lake Tahoe, where by Skillen’s own admission, she found the going extremely tough.

Jade Skillen (33798698)
Jade Skillen (33798698)

“That was the hardest thing I have ever done and to be honest I still have no idea how I managed to get through it,” said Skillen, who is being sponsored for the Championships by Derby Cottage Clinic on the Fordham Road.

“Brutal – that is the only word I can use to describe it. I have never put my body through anything like that.

“With the wind chill, the temperate was around minus 10 – it was so tough.

“At the same time, it showed me how resilient I can be and I learned a lot about myself as an athlete.

Jade Skillen (33872470)
Jade Skillen (33872470)

“My goal now is to head to Abu Dhabi in December, that would be amazing.

“Obviously that is going to be a completely different challenge. It will be like a desert race, and that is going to put a lot of athletes on the back foot.

“The heat, the sand dunes – it is going to be a whole new challenge compared to last year.”