AN aptitude for hardcore exercise and a head for maths make for an impressive role model for young women.
High school teacher Naomi Edmunds has earned a Legacy place in the Ironman World Championships next month, after competing in every Busselton Ironman since its inception in Australia 14 years ago.
“The world challenge is held in Hawaii; a sweet pinnacle after many years of competing,” she said.
“I expect to be participating with a few thousand others in my age group (50 to 55).”
Legacy challengers must have completed a minimum of 12 full-distance Ironman races to be eligible to apply for the global challenge.
Ironman is the icon of triathlon competitions and comprises a 3.8km endurance swim, a 180km cycle ride and a 42.2km marathon run.
Edmunds’ proud father John contacted the Gazette to share news of his daughter’s latest achievement.
“I think it’s quite incredible; she is the only woman to have competed in every Busselton Ironman since its inception here in 2004,” he said.
For Edmunds, it really is about the taking part.
The 52-year-old teacher, of Forrestfield, said the step up to Ironman was considerable and the event itself is an adrenalin rush.
Staying fit is a way of life.
She grew up in a family of ice skaters and later pursued an interest in equestrian sports.
The call for Ironman came at the age of 41.
Edmunds described the achievements of Madonna Buder (also known as ‘the Iron Nun’) as beyond inspiration.
Sister Buder holds the world record as the oldest person to finish an Ironman Triathlon, which she did at age 82.
Years of triathlon training paved the way for Edmunds’ ultimate fitness challenge on October 8.
The Ironman World championship centres on the dedication and courage of competitors, who demonstrate the Ironman mantra “anything is possible”.
More than 2000 athletes from around the world will embark on the 171.5km journey to test the body, mind and spirit.
Exercise is always on the timetable of the senior maths teacher at Penrhros College.
“I love (triathlon) and train every day in at least two of the events,” she said.
“My biggest challenge is running; I hate running but I can do it.”
She said daily training had helped her to stay healthy over the years and she urged other women to have a go.
“Triathlon is a tough event and male dominated but more women than ever are taking part,” she said.
The former triathlon coach said many female teams existed across Perth, along with clubs for children and youth.
“There is great atmosphere at triathlon events, I’d really encourage everyone to go along and see for themselves…ordinary people can do it.”