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Olympic Champion enters Ironman UK
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 19th January 2012


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Rebecca Romero is taking on Ironman UK

Olympic Gold medallist Rebecca Romero MBE has announced that she is taking part in this year's Ironman UK. Romero is famous as being the first Briton to win medals in two sports at a summer Olympics, taking a silver medal in rowing at the 2004 Games in Athens before accompanying this with a gold medal in the 3km Individual Track Pursuit Event in 2008 Beijing. Last autumn it was announced that Romero was leaving the Great Britain cycling team and many people questioned what she was going to do next. Her sporting history is varied and hugely successful, and it will be exciting to see how this sporting legend will fare taking on the world's most iconic endurance event.

Romero's sporting career started properly in 1998 when she became a professional rower. She won gold at the U23 World Championships, and after a series of successes went on to be part of the Olympic silver medal-winning quadruple scull team in Athens, 2004. Yet within a year she had retired from rowing, having suffered disc problems since her time as a junior rower. Romero admitted that she had simply lost her passion for the sport, "By that stage, I wasn't enjoying rowing like I used to," she says. "I was struggling each day to get through the training and I knew I had to be 100 per cent committed if I wanted to continue as an elite rower.” After her competition in Athens, Romero had gone along to watch the track cycling event and was instantly inspired and reinvigorated in her quest for gold. And so, in 2008 she returned to the Olympics as a 3km Individual track cyclist, taking home a gold medal and astounding everyone with her ability to succeed to such an amazing level in two very different sports.

So then, why did a 3km Olympic track cyclist decide to enter Ironman UK?

Romero says that first and foremost she was intrigued by the challenge of an Ironman event, stating “It's the most iconic endurance event there is, and I don't just want to do a triathlon, I want to be part of a great epic event.” She continues, “the Ironman is not so much a race, but a personal challenge, and that's exactly how I see it – a personal challenge.” It is certainly going to be a challenge for Rebecca, who herself admits that she has not swam properly since the age of eight and when describing the three events said, “Stringing them together, well that's definitely impossible. At least, it is right now. But that's why I've signed up to do it!” she continues, “I should be competent and strong in the cycling discipline, although a distance of 180km on a time trial bike will certainly be pushing my limits,”

But an Ironman race would not be so iconic if it was not the challenge that it is. On 22nd July, Rebecca will embark on a 2.4 mile swim in Pennington Flash Lake before cycling 112 miles through the beautiful Lancashire countryside, finishing the marathon in Bolton town centre. She will be joined by 1,500 other competitors across 52 countries, with 25,000 spectators cheering on from the side-lines throughout the day. It is a far cry away from the confines of the velodrome, but she is excited about the challenge that awaits her. Romero is especially excited to be competing in an event in her home country, saying, “I want to support a UK event to raise awareness of it for both this year and its following years. I want to encourage other British people to take part in such incredible events so close to home, and also reach out to those in foreign countries, showing them that Great Britain is the place to race.”

To follow Rebecca on her epic Ironman journey, and to keep updated with her training blog, visit www.rebeccaromero.co.uk.

For more information about Ironman UK visit www.ironmanuk.com or go to the official Facebook page, IronmanUK.


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