by Jessica Schremmer
TRIATHLON: Chinchilla's Elaina Riebe has completed her first half ironman at Lake Taupo in New Zealand earlier this month.
Riebe undertook 10 months of intense training, with 5-6 training days a week to tackle the challenge.
Riebe said when she first started training with her professional coach, she couldn't swim any further than 50m without having to stop and she had not cycled on an actual road bike ever.
"The half ironman is just my half way goal, I am actually working toward the full ironman,” Riebe said.
"I really enjoy the mental challenge.”
Riebe said she was a bit disappointed that the first leg of the competition, the 1.9km swim, was cancelled due to an algae build up in the lake.
The swim leg was replaced by a 3km run to start off with, followed by 90km cycling and a 21km run.
"I still feel really good, crossing the finish line is an amazing feeling,” she said.
"I have accomplished my first goal, however I am looking to do a few more.
"What I did realise is that it is an incredibly long way and I learned a lot from it.”
And Riebe is eager for more next year.
"I have a plan that probably within the next 12 months I would like to do another five half ironman and then do a full ironman towards the end of 2018,” she said.
"I want to build up to it and I want to be strong enough to know that I can complete it with enjoyment, even though it is going to be hard... but enjoy it.
"Anyone is actually capable of doing what I am doing, it is just about conditioning your body, the body is an amazing thing, it is a mental challenge, that is what it comes down to.”