By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE'S Cheryl Ogden is glad to be home enjoying some well-earned rest after completing the gruelling Hawaiian Ironman recently.
Ogden arrived back home last Monday, justifiably proud of her performance at what is regarded as one of the world's toughest sporting events.
Competing in the 50-54 age group, Ogden completed the 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42km run in a fantastic time of 11 hours, 42 minutes and 23 seconds (11:42.23).
'I was very happy to finish in under 12 hours, that was my goal going into the Ironman,'' Ogden said.
When asked to describe how her race panned out from start to finish, Ogden compared it to clockwork.
'The whole race went very well for me, I had no serious problems along the way and that was a big help to me,'' she said.
'As is the case with the start of every race, the swim leg is a mass of arms and legs, but that settled down.
'The bike leg was quite a smooth one, I was able to settle into a great rhythm and it was like time flew by.
'Meanwhile, the run was very good, I got into a groove and like the bike leg, it seemed to go by quite quickly.
'What also helped me was all the people in the crowd who all cheer you on, that support really gives you a lift.'
As a top five finisher, Ogden not only was on the podium at the presentation ceremony, but also received some prizes.
'To finish in the top five is a big highlight,' she said.
'Standing on the podium was an experience I will never forget and the prizes they give you are quite good.
'I got a brand new Timex watch, an engraved wooden bowl and the finishing medal, that was great.'
Ogden paid tribute to those people who helped her during preparations for the Ironman and believed she couldn't have done it without them.
'You cannot commit the time and the effort to competing in these events without the support of so many great people.
'My family always provide me with wonderful support and those people who helped me with my training in the lead-up were just fantastic to me,' she said.
Ogden is glad to be putting the feet up for the next few months, but has not ruled out a return to Hawaii in the future.
'I am not sure whether I will go back, but I am going to take it easy for a while,' she said.