Club member Andrea Gellan has achieved in one year what most of us can only hope for in a lifetime of riding. After winning her age category at the Outlaw Triathlon in May, Andrea then went onto win the IronmanUK event in July which ensured her place in the World Championship Ironman Kona in Hawaii this month!
Here in her own words, Andrea tells us how it went down...
The day started at 4.30 with coffee, a pot of overnight oats and a carton of protein breakfast drink. Then I greased up and put on my tri-top and swim skins , grabbed hat , goggles , special needs bags and headed off to the Ironman centre at the king kamehameha courtyard hotel for marking and the start. My bike, bike kit and run kit had all been racked the day before.
I watched the male age groupers start at 7.05 before making my way down the steps into the water for the female start at 7.20 . We all packed into the start line to tread water waiting for the gun . Fortunately I was fairly near the front but I had to egg beater kick and active skulking to keep my place. When the gun went I put my head down , sprinted and kicked hard as the water became alive with moving bodies. I eventually found some clear water , and got in with a good group of swimmers . Finished the 3.8 km non-wet suit swim in 1 hour 13.
Then onto the 180 km bike - first a lap through the town with the crowds cheering then up Palani road ( probably the steepest bit of the ride) out onto Queen kaahumanu highway, for the long slog past the airport , though the lava fields and up to the half way turn point at Hawi . The first half went very quickly and I reached the turn point at 3 and a half hours.
It went down hill at that, both in the route profile and in my head . The heat was relentless with no shade and even the wind was hot . My feet were burning from the reflected heat from the road (my first knowledge of ‘cycling hot foot’!). At one point I had to stop at a feed station to take my shoes off and put my feet in buckets of ice to keep the juice bottles cold. My estimated time to arrive at T2 started to stretch out as I slowed down and people started to pass me. I was so pleased to reach T2 and felt quite ill when I got of the bike. However a seat, a drink and some ice revived me and I felt able to start the run.
I got my’ second wind’ for the run and really enjoyed it . I had no pressure as I knew I still had plenty time to finish . I ran from aid station to aid station getting ice , water , Gatorade, mocha , and vanilla gels, oranges . The run started through the town along Ali drive , where the crowds cheered me on, then back onto Queen K highway for the run out the the Energy Lab turn point.
This part of the run was quite isolated as it was dark and there were no crowds, but the stars were bright and it was very atmospheric. The aid stations were oasis of light, playing music with a great party atmosphere. I got into the zone, one foot in front of the other and the time passed quickly. I turned back into town towards the finish when a nice traffic cop said to me ‘two more blocks and you’re done’.
On to the red carpet with the crowds cheers, high fives and shaka’s. AWESOME!"
You can also read about Andrea's earlier achievements by clicking the links below -