Mudgee’s Soolan Clifford has completed the jewel in the triathlon crown – the Ironman world championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Contested in grueling heat that claimed many competitors – including Mudgee’s Nick Kastelein – she admitted to being a bit disappointed at her time compared to the Port Macquarie qualifying event, but glad to cross the finish line.
“It was an amazing experience, it’s an iconic race and people dream about getting there,” she said. “It was a tough race, weather-wise more than anything because you can’t train for that and how you’re going to feel in Mudgee. So it wasn’t the race I wanted in terms of time, but I was always going to finish – I was never not going to get there. It was pretty amazing to be racing with top triathletes and World Champions, it’s a different world in that race.”
Soolan said she will do Ironman again in the future, but not for the next 12 months, the two events in just over six months requiring a huge amount of effort and time away from family. And although she’ll sit out the first round of the Central West InterClub series later this month, she plans to tackle some shorter events, local races, Olympic distance next year, and possibly a Half-Ironman in Port Macquarie.