RUNNING, cycling and swimming 200 kilometres in a tropical storm is not the way most mothers would celebrate their 50th birthday, writes Richard Fletcher.
Cake, a meal and drinks are usually preferred - but Linda Worrall decided to make it one to remember.
So the Vicars Cross mum marked it by taking part in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
'I wanted to make my 50th year special,' she said. 'I don't know why not many people take part in my age group. Maybe they haven't got the time - it is a bit extreme, that sort of distance.'
In her age group - 50-54 - she finished 21st. As if that was not enough, she also completed the Olympic Distance World Champion-ships in Switzerland the month before and had to qualify for both events.
She fits training around her work and family life. Lucy trains 15 hours a week, running round Delamere, swimming at the City Baths and cycling in North Wales - while also working part-time as a school secretary and looking after daughter Lucy, 14.
But she firmly believes anyone can do it with a bit of organisation. It has also helped that husband Mark also competes in triathlons and Lucy is a high-flying swimmer earmarked for the European Junior Champion-She said: 'Family comes first, and you have just got to manage your time. As Christmas is approaching, there are lots of other things to do. But my daughter will do three early swimming sessions, so we're up at 5am.
'My training will start at 6am, swimming before work, then after I go for a run so I might not get home until 8pm. But it is because I want to do it.'
Linda only began triathlon 10 years ago after spotting an advert in The Chronicle. She also joined Chester Triathlon Club - but had to learn to swim before she could compete.
Her sister, Susan Haslam, also took part in that first novice competition and now, along with husband Mark, they train together while Lucy is at the pool.
The race in Switzerland involved a
1.5k swim in Lake Geneva, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run. Linda came tenth in Switzerland and went on to complete the 3.8k, 180k and 42k respectively of the Hawaii race - although the busy family had to leave the next day so Lucy could fly out to a swimming camp in Tunisia.
Yet after all this, Linda says winning Chester Tri Club's 'Person of the Year' award was her biggest achievement this year.
Although she is resting now, she has no plans to finish.
'It's never too late to start,' she said. 'I met a chap in Hawaii from Florida. He was 76 and it was his 13th championship. It is just so admirable.'