AN IRVINE gym club member has been crowned world champion for obstacle course racing at the Spartan World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Harvey Mitchell attends Scott Brown Fitness and has quite a journey to this accolade, having only started the sport 16 months ago.

His coach, Scott Brown, says he always saw potential in the youngster when he joined the club aged 15.

He said: “His dad brought him to me when he was 15 hoping I could work with him and let him experience obstacle course racing to see how he does.

“I noticed he was a naturally fit boy and strong at the age.

“I then worked with him over the last 16 months until now, making him stronger and teaching him techniques for obstacle races that would improve his times and skills.”

The coach certainly did just that as the East Kilbride teenager went onto win the three races he entered in the Spartan UK competition.

That feat meant the teenager qualified to compete in the World Championships at the start of the month, with Mitchell set to compete in the 14-17 category.

Despite a set back during the race Brown was proud with how his athlete performed on the day.

He said: “I wasn’t really worried at first but a mixture of pride and nerves poured through me.

“I didn’t see Harvey until the half way stage where the course comes back into the Spartan village area and he looked great.

“He was in a good position and we watched him do a few obstacles before heading back up a massive sand dune before heading back out of sight for the second half.

“I was very positive and felt at ease he would do the job in style.

“But after this he was sick, which cost him electrolytes, and he then also cramped after this.

“But he carried on and got the job done finishing with nothing else to give and leaving it all out there on the course.

“He finished first overall in his age group and became Spartan World Champion for age 14-17 years old. It took a while to sink in but wow what an amazing feat.

“As a coach too, this doesn’t get much better to take someone from 16 months ago never trying a sport to winning a world championships.”