Last year, a delighted Corinne Clark achieved a remarkable age group victory at Ironman Wales in Tenby and achieved one of her dreams - automatic qualification for the Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii recently.

For Corinne, a member of Cirencester Athletics and Triathlon Club this achievement was doubly rewarding as 6 years ago she qualified for Kona but unfortunately suffered a horrendous injury in a biking accident prior to the race and thought her opportunity was gone forever.

However, with strong determination and willpower, Corinne returned to cycling for 3 years but having broken too many bones in crashes she returned to her swim-bike-run roots.

A first time in Kona after 2 disappointing previous trips had to be postponed, Corinne joined a large and strong GBR contingent and set off on this trip of a lifetime full of enthusiasm, determination and belief after some super training in recent months. But suffering from a cough and cold in the lead up to the race the day was always going to be a bigger challenge, so tactics played in the decision to take it steady and conserve energy, but 3.8k swim in 1.03.01 is impressive.

Corinne’s strength on the bike leg started well enough and she was on target for a sub 5-hour 180 k, but during the second half the cross winds picked up and the going got even tougher, but 5.25.14 is still a fantastic result. On the run Corinne was just hanging on for dear life. Conditions were hot and relentless and this is the time when it comes down to mental strength where an athlete just has to keep plugging away, so Corinne ran all 42k at a pace that she knew she could do all day. Feeling stronger as the run went on Corinne ended up running negative splits to finish in 3.36.24. The final stretch running through the Alii drive with the crowds cheering felt amazing, totally overwhelming and with family in support the event was very special to Corinne.

Corinne was extremely happy with 5th place, in a total time of 10 hours, 10 minutes and 30seconds as she took the final podium spot (podiums run to 5 in Hawaii) and 5th in her age group F35-39, but knowing she was only 15 mins behind the winner was a bonus.