Turning 40 is a milestone for most. Looking at ways to mark the occasion, I decided to sign up for an Ironman. With not that many Ironman options in the UK, I stumbled upon the perfect challenge to mark the big 4-0; Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon which is a 3.4km swim, 200km bike and 42km run over lots of hills!

Having two young disabled children I wanted something local. When I got accepted in the ballot, I won’t deny, I had mixed emotions: panic, excitement and doubt that I could manage to fit the training in around my part time work and huge family demands.

Being relatively new to triathlons and only having completed one half Ironman distance Tri I knew this was a huge commitment. I am not one for letting barriers block my ambitions and I managed to find time through the week to average 12 hours a week over 7 months. Two days before the big event we were told our youngest would have to start chemotherapy in the coming weeks to cure a reoccurrence of a tumour in her mouth. After over coming the devastation, I was ready to attack the race!

As I stepped into the cold, dark waters of Loch Shiedaig to swim 3.4km with the jelly fish at 5am I was calm and collected – I had trained hard!

Exiting the swim strong and full of adrenaline, the challenging bike course was next. 200km of strong winds from all directions, rain, sun and lots of hills – it was very tough!

Coming off the bike facing 42km of trail running actually excited me as it’s my happy place. I could start to relax and enjoy the run. It was a tough trail but the views were spectacular in the Scottish sun.


Finishing the race in 14hrs 29mins, I was delighted and finished as 13th women overall.

I will cherish the Celtman experience for the rest of my life. It wasn’t easy getting to the start never mind finishing it but the most rewarding achievements in life never are. My support team throughout the day were my dad, sister, brother-in-law and husband and I couldn’t have done it without them. I find doing events keep me focused and gives me self respect and the Celtman certainly didn’t disappoint!

If you’re inspired by Fiona and her epic Celtman achievements, list your own challenge, find a crew to join you and achieve your own Celtman style goal this year www.challengechum.com/list-a-challenge/