Congratulations to our own super-athletic Pam Travers who completed the Ironman Switzerland on Sunday, July 10th with an incredible time of 12 hours 41 minutes! Pam has regularly competed in marathons and trials and completed a half Ironman in Florida before committing seriously to training for the Ironman Switzerland.
This incredible feat was comprised of a 3.6km swim in beautiful Lake Zurichsee, 180km cycle over such hills called “Beast” and “Heartbreak”, followed by a marathon 42.2km run, taking place in beautiful Zurich, Switzerland.
Pam flew to Switzerland the week before in order to relax and get acquainted with the climate and course. Joining her in the women’s division was her friend Caroline. Pam has kept us all updated and kindly shared the exciting details of the triathlon.
“The race was very enjoyable, believe it or not,” said Pam. “Caroline and I did a warm up swim before the start, so that was good, just to get used to the temperature of the water. We then stood in what we thought was a good place to be for the swim start, but that didn’t seem to stop the washing machine effect of all the swimmers, with arms and legs everywhere. It was not such a great experience, I tried really hard not to panic, I had to stop a few times just to breathe and get my bearings.”
After the swim portion, Pam started the 180km cycle. “So after the swim, I started the bike section and when I reached the first hill about 28k in, I went to change gear and my spokes on my rear wheel snapped, so it made a loud crunching sound and I wasn’t sure what it was, but it stopped me moving. I thought my race was over. They then called the bike doctor for me and it took them almost an hour to reach me, by that time, so many people had passed me and I felt like I was at the back of the race. But they very kindly gave me a new wheel and sent me on my way. I had lost almost an hour, and was on a mission to finish and try and make up some time. It was hard not to push the bike too hard up the hills knowing what I had to do afterwards.
During the last 10-15k of the bike leg, there was a thunder storm, gusts of wind, thunder, lightening, and rain, lots of rain. I got very cold very quickly, but just kept going. By this stage I couldn’t wait to get off the bike.
Then it came to the marathon, we had four loops of the course to do, so instead of thinking of it was a marathon, I just counted the loops, which seemed to help. Although having to run past the finish line 3 times and hearing people finishing was just soul destroying, especially thinking that I would have been done about an hour earlier if I didn’t have the bike problem. I ran the marathon only walking through the aid stations to keep hydrated, but I was pleased with my marathon time, especially having swam and biked before hand.”
Our supporters were amazing, they were there all day cheering for us. It was a long day for them, standing around in the hot sun, then the wind and rain. They made it so much easier for us.
I’m so pleased I did that, and I don’t feel too bad today. I do have some aches and pains, but they will ease soon hopefully.”
Congratulations again to Pam who has inspired us with her commitment and tenacity with months of intensive training to compete in this gruelling course. It goes to show that with drive and determination you can overcome setbacks and do anything you set your mind to. Good luck to Pam with her next big event – her upcoming wedding, 5 days after the Ironman!