Jade Skillen has switched her focus to the global stage after she came out on top during one of the world’s leading obstacle races last weekend.
As was the case 12 months ago, a field of 250 women were left trailing in the 25-year-old’s wake as she negotiated the Peterborough Spartan Sprint at Elton Hall in a time of 51 minutes and 54 seconds.
It was a gruelling course for Skillen and her fellow competitors to contend with, which included an eight-foot wall climb, monkey bars, barbed wire crawls and 40kg concrete ball carry.
But after coming out on top once again, the Red Lodge-based personal trainer is now ready to test herself against the very best.
“I could have gone to the World and European Championships last year but time would not allow it,” said Skillen, who followed up her most recent triumph by finishing second in the Spartan Super Elite nine-mile race just 24 hours later.
“With the results I have had this year, I am almost certain to qualify for them again.
“This time I am in a much better place physically in mentally, so it will be fantastic to face the best girls in the world.
“They will be the best of the best — it will be a great challenge for me.”
Before that, Skillen will look to complete the Trifecta early next month when she travels down to Windsor to tackle the notorious Spartan Beast — a 14-mile course with over 35 obstacles.
Despite the significant increase in distance, the former West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur footballer is confident that she is in the right shape to flourish once again.
“Over the last year or so I have altered my training techniques to suit these races,” Skillen added.
“I had a good base level of fitness and endurance from all of the football that I played when I was younger, and I have built on that significantly.
“It is as much about mental focus as it physical. The races test a lot of attributes and that is more appealing to me than running a 5k or 10k.”