By Josh Graham in Birmingham
Coventry's Sian Rainsley admitted it was “amazing” to come full circle by returning to the scene of her childhood runs at Sutton Park and finishing 12th in the Commonwealth Games triathlon.
Rainsley suffered in the swim and fought hard on the bike to enter the run in eighth place but having spent so much energy to regain position she faded over the 5km final leg of the sprint distance.
Considering she entered the race ranked fifth, Rainsley was rightly disappointed with the result but her feelings were tinged with pride having been close to chucking in the towel a few years ago as she struggled to get to grips with Crohn’s disease.
Rainsley, 25, said: “It was amazing, I grew up doing running races here as a kid about a decade ago, so it’s come full circle.
“I could pick out friends, family and old swim coaches on the course, that was really special and I really enjoyed that part of it.
“If you’d have said 18 months ago, I’d be going to the Commonwealth Games I would have laughed, so to be here I just wanted to make the most of it and enjoy it. Top 15 on a bad day, isn’t too bad I guess!
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“A few years ago I was in hospital and thinking about quitting triathlon. So to be here and healthy on the startline, and be ranked fifth - I wouldn’t have believed that.”
Rainsley revealed the patriotic crowds down the road in Birmingham sustained her efforts after a chaotic swim.
She added: “The swim was probably the worst swim I’ve had all year, to be honest. It was really violent and chaotic. I was hoping to be a bit better set up going into the bike leg.
“On the bike it was good, the crowds were insane and it kept me going. I just think I burnt too many matches trying to get back into the race on the bike initially.
“It was a tough one but I’m really happy to do my first major Games and the crowds definitely kept me going, so thanks to everyone for that!”
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