Bellshill woman Shona Girdwood has revealed her extremely tasty victory celebration after winning her class at the gruelling Ironman 70.3 UK triathlon event in Exmoor!
A tired and emotional Shona wolfed down a bacon roll, just 30 minutes after landing the female 45-49 years race which had seen her complete a 1900m swim, 58-mile bike ride and 13.3-mile half marathon.
Shona said: “It was an incredible experience seeing thousands of spectators when I approached the finish line. Seeing my husband Jim jumping up and down made me emotional and I burst into tears.
“I was totally exhausted after the race, the first half marathon I’d ever done.
“It was half an hour after finishing when I finally had a roll and bacon to celebrate and it tasted absolutely brilliant.”
Shona’s victory was hard earned, as there were a total of 72 runners in her class. Overall, she finished 13th out of the 500+ female race competitors across the various classes.
“I was delighted with that result,” Shona said. “Especially when you consider how tough it was for everybody. There was torrential rain during the swim, when the water was very choppy as the wind got up.
“And the hills during the bike ride were really steep, with severe descents made dangerous by slippy underfoot conditions.
“A crowd of people fell off their bikes. I had a few hairy moments myself.
“And the running course was absolutely brutal, with six steep hills on each of the three laps.
“The last lap of the run was just about surviving. It was a sprint finish and I managed to finish just ahead of the second-placed athlete.”
Shona’s sterling efforts in Exmoor earned her one of the two qualification slots available in her class for the World 70.3 Championships in Austria on August 29.
“My main aim is to go there and get a medal,” she added. “Everything is going well in training and I’ll keep preparing to the best of my ability over the next few weeks to give myself as good a chance as possible.
“If I win a gold medal there I’ll probably celebrate with two rolls and bacon!”
Although Shona was raised in Crossford, she now lives in Jacobite Place, Bellshill. Her parents Thomson and Helen and brother Craig run Rosebank Garden Centre.