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Single mum becomes first UK woman to complete triple Ironman

PUBLISHED: 09:20 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 16 May 2018

Policewoman Maria Greaves, who has just completed a triple Ironman event, pictured with her daughters, Millie Smith, 11, and Chloe Smith, nine. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Policewoman Maria Greaves, who has just completed a triple Ironman event, pictured with her daughters, Millie Smith, 11, and Chloe Smith, nine. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A Holt single mum is thought to be the first UK woman to complete a triple Ironman triathlon challenge.

Policewoman Maria Greaves from Holt, who has just completed a triple Ironman event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Policewoman Maria Greaves from Holt, who has just completed a triple Ironman event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Maria Greaves, 37, completed a 7.2 mile swim, a 336-mile bike ride, and three running marathons, totalling 78 miles, in 60 hours.

The part-time police officer, based in Cromer, has two children Millie, 11, and Chloe, nine, who think she’s “a little bit crazy”.

The mammoth challenge was completed in the New Forest last weekend and she only had 1.5 hours sleep during the ordeal.

Her next potential challenge is a decker, which is 10 Ironmans in a row.

Maria Greaves' trophy and medal for the triple Ironman event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Maria Greaves' trophy and medal for the triple Ironman event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She said: “I completed the swim in 4.5 hours, the 336 miles took 29 hours, and the run I completed in 24 hours. The whole thing took me 59 hours 10 minutes. Nine people started it, five finished, four men and me. I’m 99pc sure that I’m the first woman in the UK to do three Ironmans.”

Back home, she said was experiencing a mix of emotions.

She said: “It’s elation, exhaustion. I’m a little bit tired and have some aches and pains, but I’m absolutely elated, It’s a proper life-changing experience. I feel fulfilled and that I’ve found my niche.

“I’ve been doing triathlons for a while. I’m driven by things that seem impossible, I like to be able to prove it wrong.

“I did the double Ironman last year, so when I was asked to do the triple, it was a no-brainer. I don’t give up - I won’t quit.

“You have to be strong in the head, it’s 50/50 mental and physical. But there were hundreds of low points. In the middle of the night when you’ve cycled 200 miles and you know you’ve got another 130 to go. It’s overwhelming and knocks you down, but you have to keep the faith and get through it.”

As preparation, she completed a 100-mile race near Reading last October and she’s previously done the London marathon.

She has been a police officer for 17 years, belongs to North Norfolk Beach Runners, Tri-Anglia triathlon club and swam at Woodland leisure pool and fitness centre.

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