Ironman Woman

Guest blogger, photographer and Ski Club Leader Anna Henly is taking on the gruelling Ironman Austria on June 30. Anna tells us how and why she is taking on this huge personal challenge…

Somehow I found myself caught up in the frenzy of entering mad events at midnight – trying to beat the predictable, agonizing crash of the Ironman Austria 2013 website. Over 2000 triathletes were all simultaneously registering to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a marathon. Unbelievable that this was a year ago…

I have found triathlon provides an exciting trio of sports which closes the
gap between ski seasons. This season I was leading for the Ski Club in Verbier and Vail, and for the FIRST TIME EVER, could ski hard all day, every day. This in itself proved to me that Ironman training is definitely worth it for several reasons. The training has been a huge effort and support from donors to Macmillan Cancer Support has definitely guilted me into swimming and running and cycling over the horrid winter and spring we have just had.

Anna HenlyI have followed a professional coach’s advice ( as the Ironman still seems very daunting to a try-athlete that thought she had a high chance of drowning two years ago in the London Triathlon. Karl Zeiner (Austrian and a skier!) has given me a programme each week, with a spreadsheet to be filled in honestly with what has been achieved, at what level of effort, and a gauge of exhaustion or otherwise.

I have chosen to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support for family
reasons. My young brother-in-law died from brain cancer a few years ago and the nurses provided an invaluable service.

My fundraising efforts so far have included a talk and slide show on polar bears for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and I am taking simple corporate portraits for uses such as LinkedIn in exchange for donations to Macmillan. ALL of the money donated goes to Macmillan – none for the event entry fee.

We wish Anna the best of luck for her final preparation for the race on If you would like to support Anna’s mission to complete the Ironman Austria 2013 and raise money for Macmillan Cancer support, please visit her Just Giving page:


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