An­gela Naeth’s Un­be­liev­able Eighth (8:57:34)

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Ironman World Championship -

I can’t put it into words. My boyfriend [Tim Snow], who is also my coach, said, “You just have to have a strong race, you’re such a strong ath­lete.” Those words stuck with me. Right from the get-go in the swim I re­peated, “Be strong, be strong.” The swim was re­ally in­ter­est­ing; there was a big pack of us. I haven’t re­ally been in a pool for the last four months. I’ve just been do­ing open-wa­ter swim­ming, and I think that’s re­ally helped me to be strong in the wa­ter.

For the first few miles on the bike, there was a big group of girls. I de­scend re­ally well, so I tried to get up to the front over the first three or four miles [up the first climb up Kuakini High­way]. The girls were rid­ing so strong. I think Mirinda Car­frae passed me at mile 40. She had a re­ally strong bike, too. Fi­nally, there was a big group of us climb­ing up to Hawi, and I thought, “I have to go, I don’t know what I can do on the run.” I got up to Hawi and there was me, Kaisa [Sali] and Rachel McBride at the top and we all took turns at the front on the de­scent. [For the last]

30 miles, I was in front the whole way. Peo­ple caught up, but I kept rid­ing re­ally strong.

On the run, I hon­estly had no idea what I could do. I got dropped pretty early, but I got stronger and stronger, and at mile 14, I started see­ing peo­ple coming back to me.

I’m just over­whelmed. From where I’ve been – in April, I hon­estly couldn’t lift my legs – to come here and place eighth af­ter five Iron­mans this year is un­be­liev­able to me. Not in my wildest dreams would I have ex­pected to do what I did to­day. I am just so happy to be back and healthy.—AN­GELA NAETH

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