Mel's world class 'feet' after pushing through pain barrier
NOOSA'S iron maiden Mel Hauschildt has broken broke the world record in taking out the North American Ironman Championships in Texas despite have to take a comfort break to ease crippling pain in her feet.
The mighty Mel completed the gruelling race distance in a time of 8:31:05.
Mel beat the previous record of 8:33:56 held by Chrissie Wellington from 2011.Her stunning performance means she becomes the only athlete in history to win three different regional ironman championships.
She has also won the European Championship in Frankfurt and the Asia-Pac Championship in Melbourne.
"I might have to put some Texas longhorns on the front of my bike to show my allegiance to Texas after the month I had there,” Mel posted on her blog afterwards.
"It was an absolute blast. I met so many wonderful, hospitable and gracious Texans.
"I got to spend a month in the perfect training location with my awesome friends Roberto and Jeannine and to cap it off I came away with 'The Texas Double'.”
Mel said this was a win in the Ironman 70.3 Texas and as well.
"I've managed to keep my nine-year streak alive - nine consecutive years of winning at least one championship race per year (world, regional or national).”
She said the Texas weekend was absolutely stunning with clear blue skies and not a breath of wind.
"I expected that I'd feel pretty sluggish in the fresh water without my Roka security blanket (wetsuit) to keep me floating. But we got going and the swim was actually quite enjoyable.”
"I exited the water in eighth feeling in control and ready for the race to begin. The bike leg was two laps, out-and-back along a dead flat stretch of highway.”
She said the pace felt "good, under control, how the first half of an ironman should apparently feel”. As she worked her way into the marathon-long run course, Mel was in fourth place about five minutes off the lead.
"I felt great running. I was ticking off 4min km's on the flat concrete paths around The Woodlands.”
She took the lead before the end of lap one of a three lap course.
"I felt confident on the run. I'd done a few good weeks training back in Australia before Texas 70.3, but there was one thing bothering me.”
Her feet were were burning up. At 5km they were sore, by half way they were signalling "a long painful run”.
"By 32km they were screaming out for me to stop. Every step was like running on glass.”
At this stage she had more than a 10-minute lead so she decided on a toilet stop to rest her feet.
"As I sat in the smelly, hot porta loo I put my feet up and told myself that it was just 10km of running to go, forget that I've already run 32. As I jumped back on the course it was worse than before.”
She kept going nursing her feet one step at a time, running on her heels to ease the pain in forefeet.
"But jeez heel striking is tough. And tiring. Finally, I saw the finish line. All I could think about was getting my shoes off and throwing my feet in a bucket of ice.”