Michyla completes Florida ironman

Michyla Clark crosses the line.
Michyla Clark crosses the line.

Michyla Clark achieved one of her bucket list goals earlier this month.

Having competed in triathlons for the last seven years, she wanted to experience racing abroad.

Michyla has family who reside in America so it seemed the ideal country to choose and she competed at the Haines City Ironman in Florida, which covers a total distance of 70.3 miles.

Race morning was warm with little wind which was ideal for the 1.2-mile swim in Lake Eva.

Michyla had been advised by race organisers that alligators are in the lake and therefore during the swim she should try to stay with the main group of athletes as this would deter the gators from coming too close.

Needless to say Michyla was quite anxious during the 45 minute swim leg.

Overjoyed to still have all four limbs as she exited the lake, it was then time to run through transition and start the bike leg.

Road surfaces were fantastic and the 56-mile course was all on main carriageways completely closed to traffic.

Strong gusts of wind in the countryside and orange groves made the ride difficult and, by 10am, the temperature had already reached 33 degrees.

Struggling to keep hydrated in the heat, Michyla slowed down for the second half of the bike leg.

Rolling hills drained energy levels and the sun seemed to get even hotter.

Dismounting the bike meant two elements of the race were complete, but there was still a 13.1-mile run to complete.

Feeling weak at this point Michyla set off steadily and needed medical attention only a mile later.

After replenishing salt levels in her system and her heart rate now better, she was allowed to continue.

The run was a three-loop course which weaves through residential areas.

The local community treated the event like a carnival day and residents used their hose pipes to spray cold water on athletes to help them cool down, while music played.

Having used every ounce of determination and thinking of all the support she has had in preparation for the race, Michyla crossed the finish line and received her medal after clocking 7 hrs 08 mins.