LOCAL SUPERHERO: Elaina Riebe from Chinchilla became an Ironman on the weekend.
LOCAL SUPERHERO: Elaina Riebe from Chinchilla became an Ironman on the weekend. Contributed

Mum a true Ironman

Triathlon: It's a simple fact that mums are basically superheroes, but Chinchilla mum-of-three Elaina Riebe is a bona-fide Ironman.

The 38-year-old has just completed her first Ironman Trialthon in Cairns after more than two years of dedicated training.

The road to becoming an Ironman began for Riebe after having her first two children and deciding she wanted to get back into fitness.

After completing a marathon and falling pregnant with her third child, she decided completing an Ironman competition was her next step.

Not knowing where to start, Riebe simply googled coaches and discovered Manly-based Toby Somerville from Next Level Tri.

Within a month, she was his athlete, and nine months later Riebe completed her first half Ironman in Taupo, New Zealand.

What followed was a half-marathon at the Sunshine Coast, some injury recovery time, and then she was full steam ahead, training for the Cairns marathon last weekend.

In the lead-up, Riebe was training anywhere from 10 to 18 hours every week.

"My family as well have made a massive sacrifice for me, to help support me to do this,” Riebe said.

"(My husband) Dan has certainly built up a fair few babysitting credits!”

With his support - and that of many others - Riebe attained her ultimate goal, completing the Ironman, and even getting it done within her goal time of 14 hours.

Her exact numbers? 13 hours, 55 minutes, and 14 seconds.

"It feels pretty incredible, I guess I was on a bit of a high for a while there,” Riebe said.

"When it's your first, especially when you're running down that chute to cross the finish line, you're really trying to absorb it all, because you know you're only going to get one first.

"But it's a tremendously amazing feeling, you put so many hours of training in, and training's not always fun, there's lots of love and hate moments and there's sessions there that push you pretty hard where you sometimes question whether or not it's actually achievable.”

There was plenty of challenges on the day - notably strong winds causing some strife with ocean swells and a tough headwind during the bike leg.

Nonetheless, Riebe said she never doubted her resolve.

"I had a really good race, there wasn't one time throughout the whole race where I felt like it wasn't going to be achievable, I knew that I was going to get to that finish line,” she said.

It's certainly not the last Ironman for Riebe, but for now she's taking a bit of time to recover before working towards a half Ironman on the Sunshine Coast in September.

As for what she loves about the sport, Riebe had this to say: "Your brain just wants you to quit, but I enjoy that mental challenge of being able to prove to myself that you can actually push yourself past that desire.”

"It's a sport that I've just fallen in love with.”