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UPDATE: Vernon ultra athlete completes swim in double deca Swiss triathlon

Shanda Hill sits second out of four women; will now cycle 3,600 kms
Vernon’s Shanda Hill is all smiles in the swim portion of the swissultra Triathlon in Buchs, SG, Switzerland. Hill is competing in a double deca triathlon, meaning she will swim 76 kilometres, cycle 3,600 km and finish with an 844 km run. (Facebook photo)

UPDATE: TUESDAY, AUG. 22, 10:10 a.m.:

Hill has successfully completed her 76 km swimming challenge, surpassing her 2019 Mexico double deca record by more than five hours.

The swim took her 57 hours and 28 minutes to complete. She is currently in second place for the women just behind Alexandra Meixner of Austria.


Nothing like a close shave with a lawn mower to get Shanda Hill back in the water.

Vernon’s ultra athlete is in Buchs, SG (St. Gallen), Switzerland, competing in the swissultra Triathon 2023, though the race name is a tad misleading.

The race is actually a double deca ultra triathlon, consisting of a 76-kilometre swim, 3,600-km bike ride and ending with an 844-km run. It is the ultimate test of stamina and willpower.

Hill began the race at 11 p.m. Pacific time Saturday, Aug. 19.

Her social media team said Monday, Aug. 21, just before 1 p.m. Pacific that Hill “had a good night,” and is “ahead of schedule.”

“As of this moment, Shanda has completed 50 km and has another 25 to go,” said an update on Hill’s social media pages. “She is tired but doing incredibly well, and wants to assure everyone that she will pace herself over the next 38 hours.”

That included trying to catch 40 winks Monday morning. Hill has been a bit under the weather, fighting off some nausea as the swimming pool’s waters, over an extensive amount of time, can cause a form of ‘sea sickness.’ It has affected a couple of other competitors as well.

So Hill took a quick break Monday morning, climbing out of the pool and onto the neighbouring lawn for a power nap. But Switzerland’s parks have a unique feature – automated mowers.

“Just as Shanda had drifted off, one of these mowers buzzed by her head and sent her back swimming,” wrote her support crew.

Hill also took time to express her concern and let everyone to know that she’s thinking about those dealing with the fires in the Okanagan, Shuswap, and across Canada.

“Her heart truly goes out to all of you, and she’s wishing for safety and comfort for everyone and their families,” said her team.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, Hill was second among the four women competitors, 10 kilometres back of Austria’s Alexandra Meixner.

There are nine men competing. Hill is the lone Canadian, but joined in the women’s division by fellow North American Lea Sterciuc of Kirkland, Wash.

You can follow Hill’s results here.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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