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Lorraine Hurley: Ironwoman

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

At Stellar Therapy, we LOVE to brag on our Stars—especially when they do extraordinary things.

In February, Lorraine Hurley, SLP-CCC, traveled to Sri Lanka for her FOURTEENTH half-Ironman triathlon. We are so proud of her, we asked her to share her adventure with us! Please read on below to hear all about her Sri Lanka Ironman adventure!


My husband Peter and I traveled to Colombo, Sri Lanka for an Ironman 70.3 race, my fourteenth triathlon of that distance. Also known as a “half Ironman,” this race includes a 1.2 mile swim in the Indian Ocean, a 56-mile bike ride, and a very hot 13.1 (half marathon) mile run for a total of 70.3 miles covered across the swim, bike, and run portions of the race. Our experience in Sri Lanka was awesome. The people were so kind, friendly, polite, and welcoming.

My husband’s company makes Quintana Roo triathlon bikes and I am a triathlon coach. We were honored to be guest speakers at the Triathlon Club of Colombo. They have grown from a handful to 85 members in a year and are very proud of their female athletes, some of whom wear head wraps, long sleeves, and jogging pants when they compete. (Can you imagine?!) You can take my word that it was hot, but you know when the locals complain about the heat, you’re in for a steamy race!

The ocean swim went okay, despite a bit of trouble navigating into the rising sun, but the water was warm and beautiful.

The bike portion... Well, ten miles into the bike ride, I rounded one of several U-turns on the course. It had just been repaved and the far lane was several centimeters higher than the one I was coming from. I was taking a tight inner track when I hit a sudden lip in the tar. Since my wheel was already turned, the bump hit it nearly sideways and flipped it more than 90 degrees.  I went down on my face and shoulder, with my bike shoes still clipped into the pedals.

By good fortune, no one crashed into me, none of my scrapes, bumps and bruises were dripping blood, and my bike still worked! So I got back on and kept going. I didn’t know if my banged up knees and Achilles would let me run but I decided that I would take things one step at a time.

As luck would have it, I was able to finish the bike and found I could run after all! My winterized body wasn’t ready for temps in the high 80’s (it felt like 95) so I was much slower than usual. I focused on nutrition and hydration (pouring ice in my hat and water over my head each mile) and keeping my heart rate within a safe range. I was still determined to beat last year’s record in my age-group of 55-59 year-old females—and I did so by about six minutes, keeping my eye out for the reigning champ who was registered for this race as well.

I learned later that she had dropped out of the race and I had won my age group after all, which qualified me for the 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France this September! I lucked out: there weren’t that many older women competing so one of my slowest races had been enough to win anyway.

In the days that followed, my scrapes all scabbed over, including on my face, and I lost a front tooth (veneer) that had evidently cracked during my fall. I was quite a sight! But I got the tooth fixed and the “road rash” healed quickly so my students were not too shocked by my appearance back home!

Now I will set about training on Lookout Mountain so I can tackle the French Alps in September. I truly appreciate the support of the folks at Stellar and my HCDE private schools. I’m a lucky girl.

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