Blackwater Triathlon Club member, Ciara MacCallum, was in the Garden of England on Sunday the 21st of July for a half Ironman distance race. Ciara, along with 82 other enthusiastic athletes travelled to Lydd in Kent to take part in the Owler Triathlon. There were a number of distances on offer for athletes, from sprint to Olympic distance, culminating in the middle distance that Ciara took part in. This was made up of a 1.9km swim, a 90 km cycle and a 21.2 km, half-marathon distance, run. This was definitely not an event for the faint-hearted, but then Ciara has never been accused of that. The event took part in the beautiful South East of England, close to the 7 mile long sandy beach at Camber Sands in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The evening before was wild and windy with 40km/h winds whistling around the South East of England. Fortunately, it had calmed down by the morning and Ciara and the other competitors were up at the crack of dawn for a 7am start. The swim took place in a lake in an old quarry, which was flat and calm. Ciara finished the swim in just over 40 minutes. Next up was the 90 km cycle leg, which was comprised of two laps of a flat course on scenic country roads through Lydd, Brooklands and Camber, before returning to transition at Lydd lake. There were a few crosswinds to contend with, but Ciara made it back safely in a very impressive 3 hours and 18 minutes; an average of just over 27 km/h. The final challenge was a half marathon run, consisting of 3 laps of farm roads and stony paths around the lake and surrounding paths. It was very hot at this stage and still quite windy. The frequent water and food stations were in high demand as competitors tried to keep fuelled and hydrated as the day wore on. Ciara finished the run in 2 hours and 34 minutes, crossing the finish line in an excellent total time of 6 hours, 37 minutes and 39 seconds. Well done to Ciara and everyone who took part on the day. This event was really friendly and well organised and is definitely one to consider for anyone looking for fresh challenges abroad.