Michelle Parsons racing for Team Tri UK in Northern Italy on Sunday returned victorious from the aptly named Terrible Triathlon or Idroman Triathlon winning the female race in an overall time of 6 hours 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Normally a time like that wouldn’t see a win but on that course and in extremely hot conditions (mid 30s) the six hour endurance effort was yet another impressive performance from the Worcester Triathlon Club member.
The race started at 7.30am with a 1900m two lap swim in the picturesque lake at Idro. Michelle emerged from the water in 8th position pleased to be out of water and to be getting on the bike for what was heralded as the toughest half ironman bike course in the world. Her swim of 42 minutes and 36 seconds left her trailing the leader, Alessandra Boifava from Italy, by almost 8 minutes.
The bike course was 86km and included a massive 2920m of climbing. The route saw the climb out of Idro to a town Capovale and then descend down to the beautiful lake Garda before turning round and climbing back up to a different town called Perone before dropping down again and climbing back up to Capovale, including a 15% climb, and down again to Idro and the lake where transition was sited. Michelle gradually worked her way through the field eventually getting to second place. The Boifava had managed to keep her lead but the margin was reduced to just over 4 minutes as they started to run. Not surprisingly the run was fairly flat with 4 laps alongside the lake but after such an horrendous bike section – Michelle recorded the fastest female bike split of the day in 3.36.51 – her running legs would be tested as she attempted to catch Boifava.
After two laps the lead had been halved and then on the third lap Michelle made a huge effort to catch which she did with just 5km of the 21.2km remaining. She overtook and didn’t look back in the end taking a further 90 seconds lead on the lady of the four laps to maintain her unbeaten half ironman record in Italy.
Her next race will be the Challenge Roth iron distanced triathlon in July before looking to return to the international Powerman series of races in August.