It?s been a long and winding road
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AFTER 15 years of hard slog on the roads, Lynelle Fulton was looking forward to ending her triathlon career with a strong race in New Zealand recently.
Imagine her surprise when she found out her race was a little too strong, and that she had finished first in her age group, qualifying her for the world's toughest triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, this October.
Now instead of retiring from the sport, Fulton, 55, faces six months of hard training before taking on the 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run in Kona's searing heat and wind.
When asked about the possibility of still retiring, and not making the trek to Hawaii, Fulton replied, 'You don't have a choice. You've only got one life and when an opportunity like this presents itself, you've just got to go for it'.
Fulton did admit to being surprised at the result in New Zealand.
"I didn't think I had a particularly good race. I was an hour and 10 minutes slower than my last race in Busselton," Fulton said.
"At no stage during the race did I think I was in the lead, but when final results were published the next morning, I'd qualified."
The famous Ironman World Championships in Hawaii are no stranger to Fulton.
She did the race five years ago and finished third in her age group.
But with Kona definitely being Fulton's final serious race, her goals are very simple.
"Just to finish," she said.
"I have to keep telling myself that I'm one of the oldest people competing in the race."
Having taken more than 12 hours to complete the New Zealand course, just finishing sure would be an amazing achievement.