Meet Claire: Ironwoman
You might think that embarking on a triathlon as a busy mum of two would take some careful pre planning.
Well, not always. Claire was so inspired after watching the Ironman in Tenby a few years ago, that that evening, over drinks in the local she turned to her friends and said ‘Next year, I’m going to do that.’ They didn’t doubt her. ‘Once I put my mind to something, I’m really determined.’
Claire is a Tenby local, known to all. As we walk along the harbour, the harbourmaster Phil and fishermen wave or say hello- they’re used to her, and many others, training throughout the year for the event that brings thousands to the bustling seaside harbour town of Tenby.
‘You work up gradually- at the beginning of the year it’s just an hour, maybe two a day, but by the time the event comes down you’re training seven or eight hours a day. It’s a huge commitment.’
Even more so then, when you qualify for the world championships, Kona in Hawaii. ‘I didn’t even know I had! A friend was checking the listings and saw- he told me to go down to the organisers afterwards and claim my place. You have to decide there and then, so I did.’
The event in Hawaii is unlike anything else, the heat and humidity is almost impossible to train for, every mile there are feed stations as it’s so easy to become dehydrated and the expense of flying the family over, and the equipment needed to train, can be a nightmare. But talking to Claire about it, she brushes it off as just another run on the beach, just another swim in the harbour, just once more round the block on the bike.
Any advice then for those thinking of training for this year? ‘Don’t give up anything you enjoy- otherwise it stops being fun.’ And any plans after this years IronMan? ‘There’s the tour of Medoc- wine at every feed station- sounds right up my street!’.
Best of luck to Claire and everyone competing this year.
What about you? Fancy yourself as an IronMan? Find out what it is like as we follow Ironman Wales from start to finish.
Discover another Tenby legend: Meet Phil - the coxswain of Tenby lifeboat with the station in his blood.