THE indefatigable Emma Bexson finished a tremendous third in her age category at the Barcelona Ironman on Sunday.
Comprising a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a marathon run, few people would enter an Ironman actually relishing the test of endurance, but the Stratford AC member was even more apprehensive than would be expected as her preparation hadn’t been ideal.
Difficult weather conditions meant the sea was rough and the swell was choppy, setting the scene for a tough day ahead. Nevertheless, Bexson completed the swim section in 1:08:14
“With a sound swim in the bag, even though I was kicked and punched and thrown around, I headed out on to what should have been a fast and inviting bike course.”
But once again, the weather gods were less than kind. The combination of heavy showers and a large number of athletes on the course led to a challenging cycle stage.
“It ended up being more of an interval session in a bid to stay out of trouble,” said Bexson, who completed the 180km cycle in 5:14:29 and made up a few places in the overall standing. “The bike took its toll, leaving me struggling from the off on the run and forcing me to dig deep on what was a soul-destroying run with lots of different terrain.
“However, my support crew were amazing and kept me pushing until the end,” added Bexson, who covered the marathon section in 3:34:10 — the fastest marathon clocking by a Stratford AC member this year — to finish third overall with a combined finishing time of 10:06:11.
“I was slightly disappointed not to get sub 10 hours,” said Bexson, “but I set a PB and did the best I could on the day.”
Of the 2,465 triathletes taking part in Barcelona, Bexson was the 340th finisher and 23rd woman overall.