After interviewing Shereen Rimmell, Portfolio Manager: Omni Channel at Vodacom, about her training for the Ironman African Championship, we were keen to hear how she fared at the event in Port Elizabeth on 10 April.
'I cannot explain how amazing it was to run onto the red carpet,' said Shereen. 'The Ironman announcer welcomes you onto the final stretch by name and the supporters cheer you on like you are the winner of Ironman. I heard the words, “Shereen, you are an Ironman”, and I was ecstatic. My family were all waiting for me at the end and it was one of the best experiences of my life and well worth all the effort. I cannot wait for next year’s Ironman!'
The whole event took her an impressive 14 hours, 44 minutes and 32 seconds to complete, with these individual times:
- Swim - 1:37:57
'The sea was very choppy and the swells were so high it was not always possible to see the buoys, even though they were huge. At one stage I felt nauseous on the swim, with the way the sea was shunting me around. I came out of the water feeling pretty wobbly but elated that the “scariest” discipline was over. My Garmin registered a distance of over 4,5km (as opposed to the required 3,8km) so I did a fair amount of extra swimming.'
- Bike - 7:36:38
'I was determined not to go out too hard on the bike as I had never cycled 180km before and I was very nervous. I kept myself in check and got into an easy rhythm, averaging about 26km/h. It got really hot (my Garmin registered 37 degrees) and the wind picked up as the day progressed. I was unable to maintain the speed and my average speed dropped, especially in the last 45km, but I managed to keep calm and reminded myself that the ultimate goal was to finish and that I was on track to do that. My children, parents-in-law and friend were supporting out on the road and it was so special to have them there shouting words of encouragement.'
- Run - 5:09:11
'I started the run feeling really good. Due to the fantastic support, the run was definitely my favourite part of the day. The run consisted of four laps of roughly 10km, so you got to see the supporters many times over the course of the run. The supporters were encouraging, entertaining and kept me smiling. It also was evident how the alcohol consumption increased after each lap as the antics of the IronFans got more enthusiastic and more comical.'