Ironman triathlon: Tomlinson triumphs in final sporting challenge

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A week ago she was in hospital unable even to dress herself. But yesterday, in her final sporting challenge, Jane Tomlinson became the first terminally ill cancer patient to finish a full Ironman triathlon.

A week ago she was in hospital unable even to dress herself. But yesterday, in her final sporting challenge, Jane Tomlinson became the first terminally ill cancer patient to finish a full Ironman triathlon.

The 40-year-old was almost hysterical with joy as she completed the gruelling feat in Florida in 15 hours 47 minutes. She crossed the finishing line holding the hand of fellow athlete Ryan Bowd, 25, who had helped her around the course.

Mrs Tomlinson, who has three children, has already raised nearly £1m for charities after competing in three marathons and three triathlons. This year she cycled from Rome to her home in Rothwell, near Leeds, the city where she works as a paediatric radiographer. She was appointed MBE in 2002.

She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990. Despite treatment, cancer returned 10 years later in her lungs and bones. She has continued to undergo treatment but may have only a few months to live.

The challenge began at Panama City Beach where contestants were required to complete a 2.4-mile (3.9km) swim. This was followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride and then a 26.2-mile night-time marathon.

"I can actually say with a look of glee that I don't have anything planned after this at all," Mrs Tomlinson said. "This is it - it's the final thing I'm doing. I wanted to give up numerous times but Ryan got me round."

Comments