Natasha Wins First Iron Man and Qualifies for World Championships

Natasha Harris-White, took on her first Ironman 70.3 challenge in Aix-en Provence in France and won the female 25-29 category (70 competitors) by 11 minutes over the runner-up, Emilie Bonnet from France.

Despite the dreadful weather, she completed the 1.9 km lake swim, the 90 km bike ride and 21.1 km run in 4 hours 44 minutes and has qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Lahti, Finland in August.

Leading up to the race Natasha had done a 3-4 hour practice but hadn’t practiced the swim distance in a wetsuit.

Natasha said, “I came out the swim in 11th place and on the bike it was difficult to see where I was.  The bike course was really tricky because of the wet weather and mountainous route with people coming off the course but I came off the bike in third place.  On getting into the run I just tried to relax and get through it.  No one overtook me on the run but at one point I saw my Mum and boyfriend and I thought he said I was eighth so I thought I needed to start picking people off but apparently he said “I was doing a good pace!”  It was still difficult to know where you were because there were three laps of the course.  On the second lap my boyfriend confirmed that I was in first place and I was happy for about 200m and then I was really tired again.    Although I did know that I was the winner when I came across the line I didn’t do the classic Iron Man hands in the air finish as I was just so tired.”

Before the World Championships in Finland, Natasha will be doing another half Iron Man in Wales.  She said, “I will be doing some more swimming in a wetsuit in preparation at Caversham Lakes.  The bike course is a lot flatter and less technical than Aix. I did a practice on this in April.  This first year I’d like to be relaxed in my goals but in the next few years I’d like to become professional.

Natasha has lived in Henley all of her life, attending Valley Road and Gillotts Schools and the Henley College, before graduating from Newcastle University.

Before taking up triathlon less than a year ago, Natasha was a successful rower, winning Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Women’s Regatta (twice) and winning two gold medals at the World University Games in Shanghai.

Natasha is a brand ambassador for Trigirl (triathlon clothing) and is looking for other sponsors to help her progress in her new career as a triathlete. If you could be a potential sponsor for Natasha, please contact get in touch via the Herald


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