Helen Leigh is no stranger to tough events and last Sunday – September 29th – she added another entry to the list of endurance events that she competes in, almost as a matter of routine!! Here is Helen’s take on the day.
“On Sunday I took part in my first half ironman triathlon dubbed the worlds hardest half ironman. I kept it quiet as for the first time (I think ever) I wondered if I’d bitten off slightly more than I could chew having not biked or swum since my big crash in August.. The race was blessed with one of the nicest days of the year in a fantastic location and started at 7am in Wastwater.
Full Results HERE
I surprised myself in the slightly chilly and choppy 1.2 mile swim coming out 8th overall and 2nd female out onto the bike leg. I was unfortunate to immediately get a puncture and have to go back and swap not just an inner tube but entire wheel, wasting half an hour and dropping to 6th. I set off in hot pursuit, aware that the hardest bike ride of my life was ahead! 56 miles and over 7000 feet of climbing over Hardknott and Wrynose (both directions) and up out of Langdale over Blea Tarn. I got up all the climbs without problem and was flying back though Eskdale having fought back to 4th place when I had yet another puncture wasting yet more time. I easily lost an hour on the bike through mechanicals but I kept my cool and managed to get back to Wasdale head in one piece. Then came the 14mile run with 4,500ft of ascent over Scafell and Scafell Pike. I did this in a respectable 4hours finishing overall in 10 hrs 24 mins and 4th female (should have been 9hours 24!!). I will definitely be racing again next year and with better luck hope for a top 3 finish, what a fantastic day. If you want to see just how gruelling this race is check out the fly through link showing the whole course. Anyone fancy a go?…”