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Tue 17th Sep 2019
Bella Bayliss part 2 of 3: Retirement
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 27th March 2014

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"I pulled out on the run, I called Brett in tears... It's over, I'm done I said. I didn't want to accept it..."

The prospect of retirement comes to all professional athletes eventually, but from the side of the run course at Ironman Lanzarote in 2013 where she pulled out of the race, Bella Bayliss didn't want to listen to the messages that her body was sending her.

Another poor race, well off the pace at Ironman UK followed, and the writing was on the wall, retirement was imminent. Ready to pack up, Bella gets less than two weeks notice before Challenge Henley 2013 that she is racing, and remarkably is able to finish her iron-distance career with a 16th career victory. She won her first and her last race over the iconic distance, providing a nice symmetry.

In part two of an in-depth interview with Bella from Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote, I ask about her retirement from the sport, the difficulties she encountered both physically and mentally, and how she "didn't believe she could win" Challenge Henley, but was able to find the reserves she needed for one last time.

Bella Bayliss Interview, Part 2 of 3: Retirement

Bella's 16 career iron-distance victories:

Winner Ironman Florida (5 times) – 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008
Winner Ironman UK (3 times) – 2007, 2008, 2009
Winner Ironman Lanzarote (2 times) – 2008, 2009
Winner Ironman Austria – 2009
Winner Ironman South Africa – 2008
Winner Embrunman (3 times) – 2002, 2008, 2009
Winner Challenge Henley - 2013

Other significant achievements:

ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Champion 2006 (Canberra, Australia)
ETU European Long Distance Triathlon Silver medal 2005 (Sater, Sweden)
Fastest Ironman - 8:50:13, Ironman Austria 2009 (British record at the time)
Winner Ironman UK 70.3 (2 times) - 2008, 2010

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