In my first Ironman I was knocked off my bike at mile 50, splitting my helmet in two and leaving me with two bleeding elbows and mild concussion.  I got back on my bike and kept racing.  Running from my bike to the change tent over the hot ground in T2 burned the skin off the soles of my feet.  I hobbled the entire marathon on my heels, which took over 8 ½ hours of excruciating agony.  Two days later I had to be taken through Heathrow in a wheelchair, with feet the size and shape of rugby balls.  BUT I FINISHED.

In my second Ironman, less than three months later, I came 12th overall, winning my age group by a comfortable margin and qualifying for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The above sums me up, whether you regard it as grit, determination and mental toughness or unconscionably stupid blinkered idiocy.  For anything else, read on…


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