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Penny Comins: living the Kona dream
Posted by: Penny Comins
Posted on: Wednesday 7th May 2014


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They say getting married is the best day of your life...

Well, as yet, Ironman athlete Penny Comins isn't married... but she is fairly sure that Saturday 11th October 2014 will be (to that point at least!), the best day of her life.

We recently announced the winners of the Kona IRONMAN® Legacy program slots, and after 16 Ironman attempts, Penny will be going to Kona this year. And very happy about it she is too. In the lead up to the big day we will follow Penny's progress and preparation towards "the finish line of a dream that has consumed me and my choices for nine years." Here is her first update.


They say getting married is the best day of your life. Although not married, I am sure that the day I wave goodbye to my best friend and boyfriend, walk down the stairs, feel the sand between my toes on Dig Me Beach and fill my goggles with nervous tears, this will be the start of the best day of my life.

Ever since I saw the New Zealand Ironman maps on the wall of the office heart throb it kindled a fire; not about the boy. Although at the time I thought he was mad. Actually, anyone who attempted it was. Yet the seed of thought was planted and while the heart throb faded away the desire to complete an Ironman didn't. A few months later I drove the three hours from home to sit on the shores of Lake Taupo absorbing the event. The runners that became shufflers; the determination. The sheer enormity of the task they were all undertaking on a gleaming summers day stole my soul.

I was hooked.

I spent the next year researching and interviewing coaches, knowing that it was a two way relationship and I needed someone to keep my boisterous spirit in line. I employed the knowledge of a nutritionist and a sport physiologist, realising at an early stage that there were more disciplines to an ironman than just swim, bike, run.

Along the way I met a guy who I refused to date as I was doing a thing called ‘Ironman' and he wouldn't understand the commitment it took. Little did I know that he had done several before. A year later we were in Kona; me as the handbag, him as a qualified age grouper. I remember thinking that it was the most brutal event I had ever seen. I was petrified of it, yet lured.

Nine years later, 16 attempts at qualifying and one legacy spot later I will face the fear that the Big Island installed in me.

Penny Comins

My coach Rob Dallimore from Foot Traffic Coaching will have me prepared to the last second. My best friend, who started next to me in my first race, will be there and my caring and enduring boyfriend who has put up with multiple melt downs, will be holding my hand until the last minute. The turtles will swim underneath me in my BlueSeventy speed suit, the black lava will engulf me on my Specialised Shiv and the tarmac will melt my Newtons as I make it to the finish. All to cross the line in the world's greatest one day endurance sporting event of the mind and body.

This is my journey to the finish line of a dream that has consumed me and my choices for nine years.

Penny Comins

Penny Comins


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