Worksop Ironman star Amy Ogden has achieved her dream of qualifying for the World Championships – and she’s done it in sensational style.
The Bassetlaw Triathlon Club member stepped onto the podium on Sunday after a third place overall finish at Ironman Wales – only losing out to two professional athletes.
To put her performance into context, she finished a full 15 minutes ahead of the second competitor in her age group.
And crucially, the 11:29:30 time she posted has earned Ogden a place at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October 2015.
While all around her throw superlatives at the achievement, Ogden herself can scarcely articulate her delight.
“I can honestly hardly find words to adequately describe my experience of Sunday,” she said.
“My performance far exceeded anything I could ever have imagined.”
“The ladies who finished in first and second position are professional triathletes, so I was only beaten on the day by two pro triathletes who do this sort of thing for a living.”
The 2.4 sea swim, 112 bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon run presented Ogden and her rivals with an especially tricky test in the conditions.
She said: “The race was sensational – absolutely spectacular.”
“Ironman Wales is considered to be one of the hardest Ironman races on the European Tour due to the Atlantic sea swim, the dramatically hilly Pembrokeshire bike course and the four lap marathon around the hilly town of Tenby.”
“The event was made substantially harder on Sunday because the brisk easterly wind had whipped up a considerable swell on the sea which made for a brutally tough swim.”
Over 100 athletes didn’t make it out of the swim and were brought to shore by life boats, but Ogden ploughed on.
Thousands of locals turned out to line the roads of the bike course – a nice change of scenery from the solitude and toil in training said Ogden.
“The bike course at Wales is sensational – hilly, scenic and supported along the whole route by thousands of enthusiastic supporters.”
“The 5,000 long and lonely bike miles I’ve ridden over the past 12 months were rewarded with an outstanding bike time of 6:15, 35 minutes faster than last year.”
A competitive runner since childhood, the marathon finish held little fear for Worksop Harrier Ogden.
She explained: “I lapse into a state of complete concentration, overriding the pain and suffering with focus and mental imaging.”
“I didn’t even realise I was in third place until I rounded the final corner onto the esplanade at Tenby and wondered why I was being filmed by a TV camera mounted on a motorbike.”
“In fact, I think the hugeness of coming third overall has not entirely sunk in yet.”
Next up is the European Middle Distance Championships on 18th October, but Ogden will surely have one eye on this time next year, when she will be prearing for her greatest challenge – the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.