Exmouth Belle Chris Doe is an Ironman

PUBLISHED: 09:07 25 July 2018

Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe during the cycle element of the Bolton Ironman.

Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe during the cycle element of the Bolton Ironman.

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Exmouth runner Christine Doe has just returned from completing her first Ironman event, writes Clare Medlock.

Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe after the Bolton Ironman.Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe after the Bolton Ironman.

‘Chris’, s she is more affectionately know, joined the Exmouth Running Belles some eight years ago, very much as a ‘beginner’

However, as her fitness improved a small dream about doing an Ironman was formed. She has spent the last year training for the event, fitting it around her family and work commitments, often getting up at 5am to do training before work.

The Bolton Ironman event sees the swim element held in the lake at Pennington Flash Country Park. The swim is followed by a 100-mile cycle, a ride that includes the famous Sheep House Lane climb twice where spectators can get up close and personal with the athletes in true Tour de France style!

The third and final element – the run – begins at Queens Park from where athletes head into Bolton town centre, out and back through Queens Park completing four loops before finishing in Victoria Square.

Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe completes her first Ironman.Exmouth Running Belle Christine Doe completes her first Ironman.

The 2.4 mile swim started at 6am with water temperatures at 23 degrees! Chris was tentative about the swim so swam wide and the 2.4 mile swim quickly turned into a 2.7 mile double loop of the flash, but she was delighted with her swim time of 1:39. Onto the bike next and she managed to survive 6,000 feet of climbing in the 100-mile cycle race which saw the route adapted to avoid the recent fires in the area, but meant additional climbs and two technical descents.

The pressure was on to been the cut off time so determination set in. Chris took off at a steady pace and took on the hills with relative ease. Her second lap was quicker than the first as she got to grips with hydration during the 27 degree heat and full sun.

Chris witnessed some nasty accidents on the technical descents so reminded herself of the importance to stay focused to avoid the pot holes! She says: “Each time I passed over a timing mat my thoughts turned to those tracking me at home.

“As I approached the last climb I found so much strength hearing fellow Exmouth Running Belles at the top cheering me on.”

As Chris approached transition two she realised she had completed the course in 6:21, which was two hours faster that she had predicted.

As she prepared for the marathon the temperatures were rising to 29 degrees.

Chris began the run in high spirits knowing she had reached the cut off time well within the nine hour limit.

However, during the run she battled exhaustion and blisters. It did help her kknowing her Exmouth running Belles friends, colleagues at LED sports centre and family were tracking her progress via the Ironman app.

Fellow Exmouth Running Belles were at Bolton Town Hall to see her sprint down the red carpet as they announced – Christine Doe – you ‘are’ an Ironman!

Chris had completed the course in 14 hours 24 minutes and was able to still walk the next day.

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