Louise Payne in true Beaver style did Belvoir Tri Club immensely proud as she embarked on her first successful Ironman in Copenhagen.
Her 4.30am wake-up call on Sunday was the beginning to the 13-hour race with a misty walk to the 7am swim start to the race.
Louise said: “I felt quite calm and was relieved that the windy conditions that we’d seen over the past few days had disappeared. Something about this day just felt good. I knew I was ready. The organisation at this event was unparalleled. I was very impressed with the IM crew and marshals and would recommend the race to anyone especially for a first long distance.”
The KMD Ironman Copenhagen course passes many of the city’s historic and picturesque landmarks, such as the world-famous Opera House, the Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace (home of the Danish Queen) and the New Harbour waterfront.
The swim was a 3.8 km one-lap course in the lagoon at Amager Beach Park. For the 180 km bike ride, competitors twisted through central Copenhagen on a technical start before heading north on two loops in the rolling hills of the island’s northern countryside, in what Louise described as a Tour de France-like atmosphere with spectators edging the course.
The four-lap marathon run course stretched along the city’s harbour and, with more than 150,000 cheering fans, is considered the heart of KMD Ironman Copenhagen.
Louise completed the epic event in 13hr 40min 56sec.
Louise commented on her final metres to the finish line: “When I turned on to the final road my legs obeyed and carried me up to the funnel that twisted and turned to lead to the red carpet. I was an Ironman.
“I can’t really describe the emotions and it will be a while before it actually sinks in, but it is one of the best things I have ever done.”
Staying in Europe, Belvoir clubmates Gary and Charlotte Tudbury entered the Ironman Sweden in Kalmar on Sunday, an event that has quickly become an athlete favourite in the long distance triathlon circuit.
The swim course was in the Baltic Sea, the bike course over the 6km long bridge to the island Öland, and the run course went through central parts of Kalmar, with the finish line located on the main square.
Gary and Charlotte crossed the finish line together, recording 14:55:47 and 14:55:48 respectively.