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Vernon’s Hill working on mental aspect of Swiss double deca race

Continual rain making cycling discipline difficult for Shanda Hill, who remains in 2nd place
Vernon’s Shanda Hill takes a breather from the Swissultra Double Deca Triathlon in Buchs, Switzerland, and enjoys a hearty meal before getting back onto her bike. (Facebook photo)

If she could, Vernon ultra athlete Shanda Hill would gladly send the rain that’s been a bane causing her pain in Buchs, Switzerland, home to the Okanagan to help combat the area’s wildfires.

As of Monday, Aug. 28, 10 a.m. Vernon time, Hill had logged the 76 kilometre swim, and 1,935 kms of the 3,600 in the cycling portion of the Swissultra Double Deca Triathlon race, which puts her past the halfway mark of the event.

Hill remains in second place for the women and seventh place overall out of 13 competitors.

On her social media pages, Hill’s support team says the torrential downpour in the race has made the bike ride very difficult.

“Riding with no sleep, in the dark, exhausted, and unable to wear her glasses has made the course dangerous and challenging,” wrote her team. “The rain is constantly pounding on her face and body, and her wet clothes saturated to her skin can make a rider feel like they are drowning hour after hour.”

The crew said Hill is struggling with pure exhaustion and the never-ending cold that comes with the rain.

“It’s at this point that she has to remain mentally strong,” said the team. “She said the rain hour after hour can sink you into feelings of hopelessness that she has to overcome. It exhausts mentally as well as physically.”

One of the other riders, Lia Sterciuc from the U.S.A., had a crash that resulted in a broken arm. She is back on her bike and riding, and Hill and her team want to send her good vibes.

The Double Deca will be completed with 844 km of running.

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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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