Maclean resident Kim Elvery has just returned from competing in the Ironman World Triathlon Championship, which was held in Kona, Hawaii.
About 25 years ago, Kim began competing in smaller triathlons and has slowly worked her way towards the world’s top ultimate Ironman event.
Kim said that to enter this event, you first have to qualify by winning in your age group, at one of the other Ironman races held throughout the world.
“I qualified at the Australian Ironman event, which took place at Port Macquarie in May,” Kim said.
Since then Kim has trained on an average of 20 hours a week, in the lead up to the gruelling world championship event which entailed a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km marathon run.
Going into the event Kim said that she was hoping to improve on her overall placing, from previous events.
“I have previously finished 14th and 9th and so I was hoping for a top 5 finish,” Kim said.
“It’s difficult to compare times from year to year on this course, as conditions (especially the wind) are extremely changeable.
“The wind on race day this year was not particularly helpful, but then again it wasn’t as nasty as it can be on occasions,” she said.
Kim completed the gruelling triathlon in 12 hours and 44 minutes, from the start.
“Coming down the finish shute [at the end of the race] is just a relief – the crowd is awesome and for some reason, you can actually run again,” she said.
Kim got what she had hoped for and came 5th in her age group (60-64yo women) and out of 45 starters [in that group] from all around the world, only 33 finished.
“I completed the swim in 1hr 18mins, bike 6hrs 24min and run 4hrs 53mins,” Kim said.
“And the crazy part – yes, I would sign up to do it all again!