Ottawa resident and Ironman rookie Claire Matheson finished Ironman Florida today in 11h21 and 9th in the competitive 30-34 age group! She got stronger as the day went on with a 1h16 swim, 5h57 bike and sub-4h marathon.
Claire is a long-time friend of mine (Sara) and i have coached her since 2007. She focused on running for 2 years, qualifying and completing 2 Boston marathons before returning to triathlon and deciding to take on the Ironman. Like everyone, Claire has had some challenges in her training and has had to make sacrifices to stay healthy and consistent. I am very pleased to see those sacrifices pay off!
My history with Claire goes back to the first time i returned to Canada after many years abroad. I came to race Ironman Canada in 2004, my second Ironman. Claire was one of the people in Penticton who made me feel very welcome. My first morning in town, Claire and I rode together and she invited me to her Yoga class as well. Claire's kindness truly goes above and beyond. In the years that followed, I stayed in her home for a couple months each year training for Ironman Canada and Hawaii. Needless to say, I am very pleased to see Claire put together such a great race on her first attempt at Ironman! Congratulations Claire!
Claire chilling out before one of her little runs in Boston.