Local Ironman athlete shows her mettle

September 5, 2022

A remarkable sportswoman from Airmyn has qualified for the Kona Ironman World Championship taking place in Hawaii.

Melanie Walker, founder of Goole Roadies Cycling Club, will race against other phenomenal athletes in a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon. She did this, making impressive time at the full distance qualifying event, held in Thun, Switzerland on Sunday, July 10.

She described the day, saying: “Ironman Thun, Switzerland is billed as the most beautiful triathlon event in the world and it’s just that. “It was a race that kept giving on every section. “I saw the sun rise during a spectacular swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Thun, surrounded by snow-topped mountains. “The bike ride was equally as beautiful, situated on a hilly course through the mountains, with over 7,000 feet of elevation on the smoothest road surface I’ve ever ridden on.” Despite temperatures reaching 33 degrees celsius, Melanie completed the Ironman with a time of 12 hours 42 minutes, going straight through to the Kona, Hawaii event. Melanie added: “Many people slowed to a walk or dropped out due to dehydration and cramp during the run, but with sheer grit and determination, I got through.”

Her performance was shortly followed by a triathlon, unrelated to the Ironman Championships, in Šamorin, Slovakia on Sunday, August 21. Here, Melanie strove for her best, representing Great Britain in her age category at the training grounds of the Slovakian Olympic Team. The event comprised of a two-kilometre swim, 80-kilometre bike ride and 18-kilometre run. It was an event that challenged even Melanie. She said: “Conditions on the day were harsh, with 16mph winds that made the River Danube swim very choppy. The return bike ride leg was also encumbered by this and I was forced to ride into a headwind.” Despite all of this, Melanie will also take part in the European Triathlon Multisport Championships in Bilao, Spain on Saturday, September 24. She praised the guidance from her coach Steve Clark who represents ‘Off That Couch Fitness’ - a company that specialises in training people for triathlons, and Goole Sports Therapy, who support Melanie with regular sports massages, keeping her injuries at bay.

Melanie was euphoric upon reaching the finish line at the Ironman event in Thun, Switzerland, where she qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. (01-09-223 SU)

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