Following in the footsteps of triathlon legends such as Tim Don, Ben Hoffman and Lucy Gossage, British long distance star Laura Siddall found herself on the top of the podium in Patagonia at the Patagonman Xtreme Triathlon last weekend.
The race, which sees competitors complete an iron-distance event in some of the most challenging conditions, has been a favourite of top-class British long-course athletes for some time, with Flora Colledge and Caroline Livesey two other former champions.
“What an incredible experience”
Taking to social media after finishing the race, Siddall hailed the event as an incredible experience, detailing the challenges she faced in what she described as a “special and tough” day out in South America.
“Wow! What an incredible experience! Patagonman you didn’t disappoint and you sure turned it on! All week we had rain, snow, cloud, cold temperatures and 30-50kmph winds. I hadn’t seen the tops of the mountains. The forecast wasn’t great for race day either with ridiculously cold water temps resulting in a shortened swim.
“But on waking up and boarding the boat in the dark, not knowing what we were to expect, to then sunrise and these incredible clear blue skies and snow capped mountains, was just amazing! Amazingly the weather held. Normally it’s four seasons in an hour here but we had blue skies the whole day.”
Whilst admitting that the temperature and climate was still sub-tropical, Siddall paints an incredible picture of the race where in addition to winning the women’s race, she finished second overall.
“Yes it was still cold and yes the wind was brutal and the road conditions grinding. But jumping off the boat to see snow capped mountains, riding through valleys and the national parks with waterfalls, and more, to that run, that run was absolutely breath taking.”
Having faced such an uphill battle to recover from the injuries she sustained in Brazil, Siddall finished a remarkable 16th at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. Finishing the year on a high in Chile, the Brit summed up the occasion perfectly, commenting “who knew ringing a bell would mean so much!” after getting to the infamous gate and bell at the finish line.