Louella O'Herlihy XMiles Ambassador
Hi, I’m Louella. I used to play rugby for about 18 years, some of it representative, then had a break for a few years and fell into Triathlon in 2012. I’d heard about it 5 years earlier and heard about a race in Kona, Hawai’i.. and thought I’d love to race there!! So I did a 70.3 distance at the end of my first season to ‘have a go’ and somehow won it .. after a terrible swim. The swim has been my nemesis ever since, but my success hasn’t really been down to talent, more hard work and perseverance... plus consistency in training. Since 2012 I’ve manage to qualify for 4 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, have raced for GB Age Group teams in Duathlon and Triathlon and become European Champion in Duathlon and World Champion in Triathlon ... plus a further 3 silvers and 2 bronze medals. Last year I achieved my dream and raced at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawai’i... such an amazing experience! I came 11th that time.... and now the dream is to make it back there and get me a one of their koa wood bowls!
However.. all that is just the trappings of racing... the real wins are the friends I’ve made along the way, the different parts of the world I’ve seen, and the chance to inspire other athletes and non-athletes to achieve their goals.

What have you been doing during lockdown?

Training continued indoors with exercise band work instead of swimming the when I could brave the sea I started in there much earlier than I normally would... but for more shorter periods as I hate cold water!
Also lots of indoor turbo sessions instead of the bike - sometimes have 3 hour sessions!! Then went out alone when able.... was great initially when the roads were so empty of cars.
Running I had to do outdoors and along the prom it was unusually quite the first month or so.
As lockdown eased I’d do longer run and bikes outdoors and resumed normal training ... despite nothing to train for as more and more races got cancelled... European Middle Distance champs in Austria end of June, Outlaw (Ironman distance) end of July and World Champs in Long Course in Sept is also cancelled, meaning I can’t defend my Gold until next year now.
However a local race The Swashbuckler (Hampshire) was rescheduled from May to 13 September so am keeping fingers crossed this goes ahead.
Otherwise I spent lockdown trying to get jobs done in the garden, but after training 2-3 x daily and having the dogs it’s amazing how I managed to procrastinate the gardening!!

How have you found being an ambassador for XMiles?

Being an X Miles ambassador also had an unexpected bonus during lockdown as it meant we had more time to follow other ambassadors and get to know them a bit better - widened their social network, which I found invaluable as I live alone with my 2 dogs (sadly now only one as Bizzy passed away 3 weeks ago).

What do you have planned for the future?

I’ve booked Ironman Cais Cais in Portugal in November... so fingers crossed this goes ahead. Otherwise it’s a postponement of all events from this year to next which means working towards defending my World Champion position in September 2021... and Kona in 2022.


About the Author
LOUELLA O'HERLIHY
XMiles Ambassador -

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