EMMA-KATE LIDBURY, Cricklade's stellar pro triathlete, is convinced she has a great 2014 season ahead of her despite just losing out in the Ironman 70.3 at Galveston in Texas.
Lidbury, with a fine win already under her belt at the Desert Tri in Palm Springs, went to the starting line as one of the favourites, having won the Galveston event in 2013.
And she posted her best ever Ironman 70.3 time of 4hr 11min 05sec in spite of some 'hellish weather'.
That, however, was still only good enough for second place behind Belgium's surprise package Sofie Goos, who put up a remarkable display to win by almost five minutes.
Lidbury did have the satisfaction of earning the bragging rights over her fellow California-based training partner and best friend Sarah Piampiano whom she relegated to third on the podium.
"It was my fastest time over the 70.3 distance and a very strong start to what is going to be a great season for me," said Emma-Kate.
"I was second out of the water in 27.11 behind Amy Marsh (US) and had closed on her at the the halfway point of the 56-mile bike ride. But for the homeward leg we turned into some of the worst conditions I've ever raced in.
"I honestly thought 'this is what the end of the world will look like' – and I wish I was joking!
"Starting the final half marathon run I was still second behind Amy, and I knew there were plenty of fleet-footed runners behind me.
"But I came through a tough and mentally gruelling run in 1:26.48 and I was so proud of my efforts.
"I was passed by the winner Sofie around the halfway mark – she was having an outstanding day and really surprised everyone."
Next up for the flying Lidbury is the 70.3 St George in Utah in three weeks which doubles as the US Pro Championships.
Emma-Kate passes on huge thanks to all her sponsors – especially local firms Morris Owen and Virtua.