Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



'Ironman' Andre completes the ultimate fitness challenge

Andrea Harrower LOCAL woman Andrea Harrower completed the ultimate test of endurance and fitness recently as she was officially crowned an 'Iron man'.

Andrea on her bike.Andrea, who competed in the inaugural Belfast Rat Race in August, pushed herself even further this time as she joined 1,300 fellow athletes to take on the gruelling 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and the 26.2 mile marathon. She finished the contest, which was held in Dorset , in a fantastic 13 hours, 44 minutes and 17 seconds, well inside the allotted time of 17 hours. Andrea, who hails from Dromara, was delighted to be crowned an 'Ironman', especially as it comes just weeks after a bike accident which injured her left leg.

"I still can't believe it," she said. "With my injury and lack of training, it was so challenging, although I knew that if I made the start line, I would make the finish within the 17 hours allowed; but I never expected to do it so 'Quickly'."

Andrea s family and friends, including her husband Paddy and sons Fraser, 5 and Alex 1, travelled to England to show their support .

She continued: "They were all supporting me around the route; to have my people there made a huge difference, there are so many bad patches but they give you a huge boost. This is an individual event but to get there you need people around you. There were only about 130 females involved so when females see you from the crowd they really get behind you." Despite her adventures, Andrea has said that this will be her final Ironman. "If I was young, free and single, yes I would do it again. I know I could, but there are so many other things in my life like spending time with the boys, preparing for this took six months of my life.

"Completing the Ironman is the ultimate endurance test but the final buzz is so huge. The satisfaction of having Ironman status is unbelievable. I made sure I kept my pace towards the end so I could enjoy crossing the line as some people pushed themselves and don't remember it. To enjoy the last part of the race was brilliant. There was a huge noise and to see the Ulster flags waving, it was such a huge buzz. I'm just so chuffed."

Ulster Star