FORGET Ironman, one superfit St Helens athlete is in training to become “Ironmum”!
St Helens Sutton AC stalwart Louise Hogg, 39, is set to take on her first ever ironman triathlon in France this summer – on her youngest daughter’s first birthday.
But she admits that the thought of completing a 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride before running a full marathon at altitude in Nice on June 24 fills her with as much trepidation as it does excitement.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s daunting when I think about how tough it’s going to be but I’m competitive and I love racing.
“I’ve never completed a full-length marathon before – let alone an ironman triathlon – but I know that once I get on that start line I’ll feel fabulous.
“I started some gentle exercise classes about six weeks after having Stephanie – things like yoga, pilates and swimming – before getting my mountain bike out two or three weeks later. And I’ve just been stepping my training up from there.
“I found running the hardest to get back into though.”
Louise, who is set to turn 40 in May, competed for St Helens Sutton AC as a junior before rejoining the club in 2005 following the birth of her eldest daughter Ellie, 10.
She typically competes in endurance events and completed a half-length ironman triathlon in Monaco back in 2008.
And she says that, although she initially pondered whether to cancel her ironman entry when the date coincided with Stephanie’s first birthday, she now thinks it will help make her’s daughter’s milestone all the more special.
Louise, of Prescot, is now training twice a day, four times a week, and has set her sights on completing the ironman course in around 12 hours.
She will be cheered on all the way by her partner Steve, her daughters Ellie and Stephanie and her dad too.
Louise, an NHS podiatrist, added: “Everyone is really supportive of me although I’m sure some people think I’m a bit bonkers. I’ve always done triathlons, duathlons and cross country endurance events in the past though.
“Taking on these extreme challenges just gives me a buzz.”
RIGHT: Louise Hogg and her seven months-old daughter Stephanie . Louise is training for a Triathlon.