IT’S gruelling, unforgiving and nigh on a form of torture.
But it’s also very rewarding.
One of the up-and-coming members of the Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club, as well as the Orange Runners Club, Jess Richards, completed her first Ironman Triathlon event in Melbourne in a time of 10 hours, 57 minutes and 26 seconds over the weekend.
Richards started off strongly in the swim leg at Frankston, finishing the 3.8 kilometre swim in a time of 1.11:36.
She then completed the 180km bike ride along the Eastlink Freeway in 5.26:44 before running a full marathon, all 42.2km around St Kilda in 4.10:17.
“I did better than expected,” Richards said.
Having completed hours upon hours of training for the event, pounding kilometre after kilometre of footpath and countless laps off the pool to get ready for the 226km event, was it all worth it?
And what possesses someone to try it?
For Richards, the answer is simple.
“I guess I saw a few guys from the tri club do it in Port Macquarie and at the time I thought it was impossible. I went down there and watched some of the people having a go and thought I was pretty pathetic I if I didn’t give it a crack,” she laughed.
“There’s no way I could have done any of this without the support of Dan Benton, who was my coach, and the runners and tri club.”
Richards said she will now take a break from the sport to recuperate, having ticked off a major achievement in any triathlete’s career.
“That’s it. It will take a bit of time to recover from,” she said.