Woman from Ely completes ultimate goal of taking on gruelling Ironman challenge in Lanzarote
PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:30 11 July 2018
An inspirational mother from Ely has completed her ultimate goal by taking on a gruelling Ironman race of swimming, running and biking in Lanzarote.
The challenge had been a dream of Hayley Turner’s for six years - previously having run five marathons and triathlons before having her children.
Hayley, who is a teaching assistant at King’s Ely, made the leap to enter Ironman Lanzarote two years ago - but a dangerously ruptured appendix forced her to withdraw.
“This year I was going to get to the start line and then the finish line no matter what,” she said.
“It wasn’t going to be easy as I knew I had over cooked myself last year studying and doing part time work placement hours for my teaching assistant qualification.
“But as soon as I finished work I would do a 16 or 18 mile run, biking two hours, swimming whenever I could get pool time - all before pickup and the back to back after school runs. My training hours could be up to 20 hours a week.”
But dedication paid off for Hayley - who went on to win the swimming segment for her age group overall - nearly qualifying for a world championship slot in Kona.
She continued: “I did myself proud. With more structured training under my belt and a good clear year ahead I will be returning to fight harder next year.
“I crossed the finish line in 14 hours 23 minutes and 41 seconds. My swim time was one hour four minutes, bike eight hours and my marathon was five hours two minutes.
“The bike was gruelling. The total climb is seven times that of Kona. Hence it is the toughest Ironman Course in the world.
“The sticky relentless climb to Mirador Del Rio gave way to spectacular views of Graciosa Island before hitting the dangerously fast decent down to the south of the island.
“There was a new part of the course added out to Famara and back where the cross winds claimed a few cyclists who were blown off their bikes.
“I cannot tell you how awesome it is to cross an Ironman finish line. Kenneth Gasque the race director, who brought Ironman to Lanzarote is always there to greet every finisher and we shared a waltz before the tears of joy and relief fell.”
Hayley has set her sights on competing in Lanzarote again next year, but will be first taking part in other challenges including The Outlaw in Nottingham and the National Masters Short course swimming championships in Sheffield.