A MOVE into triathlon to revive her interest in sport will take Andrea Gellan to Hawaii later this year after a stunning Ironman success recently.

The inspirational 60-year-old is on her way to the World Championships in October after finishing first in the Female 60-64 age category at the Ironman UK event in Bolton on Sunday July 16.

Last month, we told how dedicated open water swimmer Andrea, who has competed in the annual Forth swim since 2000, swum the English Channel and from Orkney to the Scottish mainland, had enjoyed her first triathlon triumph at the Outlaw Half Triathlon in May.

She set herself up for an attempt at Ironman, which saw more than 1,500 competitors take part in a 2.4-mile open water swim, a 112-mile bike ride around five counties and a 26.2-mile run.

The event offered 40 qualifying slots for the world event in Kailua-Kona and Andrea, of Dunfermline, finished in a time of 14 hours, 12 minutes and 7 seconds, more than 20 minutes clear of second-placed Teresa Hollins.

She finished 113th overall out of 225 women that took part and commented: “I’m really pleased. I had a PB in the swim of 1:06.57 and, apparently, I was 26th out of all the women competing. I was first in my age group for the swim section and the bike section, which I was really pleased with as my bike used to be my weakest discipline.

“For the run, my time was just over five hours but I hurt my ankle in the last lap. I was so determined to finish and knew that if I stopped running, I wouldn’t get going again.

“Fortunately I had a big enough lead after the swim and the bike, and I finished in 14 hours and 12 minutes. Bolton is one of the toughest Ironman events and is very hilly. It was tough mentally, especially when you felt your legs were tired. There was quite stiff competition; another girl had represented Great Britain in sprint triathlon. When I found out I’d won, I was overjoyed.”

Seeing improvements is what has motivated Andrea but she joked her plan of taking time out from training had been sabotaged after earning qualification for Hawaii.

She added: “I was offered a place at the awards ceremony and I said yes. Bolton is one of the last qualifying events but, after a six- to seven-hour bike rides and two- to three-hour runs, I was looking forward to a rest and some downtime with the family! But it will be an incredible experience. I’m very excited and I’ll be going out there to enjoy it.”