BATTLING Redditch woman Helen Tuite successfully completed her Olympic triathlon – a fortnight after crashing on her bike after yobs strung fishing line across a Church Hill bus lane.
Helen, aged 50, was one in 54 women to take part in the event, in Sutton Park, raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a condition which affected her dad Jim for 40 years before his death.
“I think the toughest part was the bike ride, as that took me one hour 57 minutes – with my back hurting most of all,” said Helen, aged 50.
In the end she powered through the pain to finish in 51st place overall.
“I found the swim the easiest part, and came roughly half way in the field in that and although got kicked and punched a few times it’s not intentional it just happens as you’ve got your head and face in the water most of the time, and so cant always see what’s going on around you,” said Helen.
“I had a great support team with me, dressed in orange MS T-shirts and waving balloons – and holding up big cards with 1, 2 etc on to help me count the laps for the bike, as you can get slightly disorientated, even though theres only 8 laps to do.
“I felt fine at the end, but slightly emotional as my mum was there to watch me.”
An Olympic triathlon involves swimming 1.5km, cycling 40km and running 10km and Helen, competing in her first ever event, beat her four hour target with a time of three hours, 52 minutes.
“The crowd were brilliant shouting words of encouragement, and because i had my name on my running vest, they called out my name too, which was great, though if I hear ‘not far to go’ one more time i think I’ll scream!”