Hidden Valley mother Lee Bova competed in the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship with more than 1200 competitors earlier this month, finishing in the top 500.
The triathlon included a 3.8km swim; 180km on the bike and a 42.2km run which Ms Bova finished in 11 hours and 57 minutes.
Ms Bova said she trained 20 hours every week to prepare for the competition.
“You need to train over a long period of time. You can’t just go ‘alright well I’m going to get up to that distance and I’ll be alright’, because your body just needs time to recover in between,” she said.
“My biggest ride was five hours. I got up at one o’clock in the morning and was riding until six o’clock, in time for getting the kids ready for school.”
Ms Bova said a week before she was due to compete in Cairns, she injured herself on her bike after hitting a kangaroo.
“I was coming back from Wallan, literally to turn onto my street, and this kangaroo has come down from the horse trail full bounce, and thrown me off my bike,” she said.
“So I got thrown off my bike but luckily landed on my back. I hurt my calf, but I think that was only from my bike.”
Ms Bova considered herself lucky and said things could have been much worse.
“I should’ve broken a collar bone or something, but I didn’t. I was just so grateful to get to the starting line,” she said.
Ms Bova said the competition was a mental battle as well as a physical one.
“The best, the fastest, the slowest, we all have moments where we just go, ‘I actually can’t take one more step. I’m giving up. It’s not worth it’,” she said.
“Then you go ‘but then what am I going to do, just walk off that way? How will I feel tomorrow? What if I just take another step?’ And in that time I’ve taken another 50 steps, and if I’ve run 50 steps, maybe I can run another 50 steps.”
“It is such a psychological, mind over matter thing.”
She said the atmosphere was a highlight of the competition.
“When you’re running past everything for the last time, most of the people are drunk by that point because there are at beer gardens, so they’re all just screaming, but it just gives you such a lift,” she laughed.
“There are people banging on the fence and cheering for you. It’s just incredible.”