AS THE triathlon season draws towards its conclusion, two Stratford Triathlon Club members have been out competing in middle distance events in recent weeks.
Indeed, such is the appeal of Ironman racing, it is no surprise that at most events the elite triathletes are in action.
Emma Bexson raced in the Ironman 70.3 at Zell am See in Salzburg, Austria.
The course, used for last year’s World Championship, is as tough as you might expect, but the stunning backdrop of mountains and crystal-clear lake made for lovely racing.
Emma, back from an injury which had her laid up for 12 weeks at the end of last year, was not entirely sure how she would perform at this distance.
Knowing she was not back to peak fitness either kept some of the pressure off and her goal was to go out and give the race her best shot and enjoy it.
Proving what a determined lady she is, she had a hugely successful race as she clocked 5:33.19.
She was delighted with her swim time of 33:51 for 1.2 miles and the tough climb on the bike, not to mention the brutal descent, which meant she was delighted with a bike split of 2:56.27 over the 56-mile course.
The run was where she knew she still had some fitness to regain and, although happy to finish the half marathon in a very respectable 1:53.32, she was slightly disappointed to miss a podium place by just 69 seconds.
However, considering this was her first race back at this distance, Emma was delighted to have finished well and pain-free.
Competing in this year’s 70.3 World Championship on Sunday was Lisa Whittington.
Keeping the international flavour, this year’s course was in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.
In her first World Championship race, Lisa was justifiably delighted to have finished among a crowd of highly talented athletes.
Although a little daunted by the sea swim and hilly bike course, she nonetheless gave it everything she had and completed the race in 7:19.29, which was not her fastest at this distance but hugely satisfying and a great experience too.