Vernon ultra athlete Shanda Hill and the rest of the competitors in the 2023 Swissultra double deca triathlon race in Buchs are dealing with heavy rains.
In a social media post Friday morning, Aug. 25, Hill’s team said the Vernon athlete is just two laps away from reaching the 1,000 kilometre mark of the 3,600 km bike discipline.
“She mentioned last night that the effects of chlorine have finally faded from her body, leading her to feel a remarkable improvement,” said Hill’s support team. “Remarkably, she’s been cycling for the past 13 hours, with just one break lasting about an hour and a half.
“Unfortunately, the rain arrived early and is pouring down heavily. Despite the rain, Shanda remains confident. However, it’s slowing her down, especially on the corners. She’s being extremely cautious to avoid any accidents as the roads are incredibly slippery.”
As of 12 p.m. Friday, Hill was still in second place among the four women competing in the race, trailing Austria’s Alexandra Meixner by 52 laps.
The double deca triathlon began with a 76 km swim, all done in a pool. That’s followed by the bike and the race concludes with an 844 km run.
Hill has consistently pushed the boundaries of her athleticism, amassing a remarkable list of accomplishments throughout her career.
In 2017, she ascended to the pinnacle of the ultra triathlon world, securing the No. 1 ranking among female ultra athletes worldwide by the International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA). This accolade was accompanied by an IUTA-confirmed world record, as Hill became the first woman ever to conquer two deca triathlons in a single year. The deca is a monumental feat, encompassing an unbroken sequence of a 38 km swim, a 1,800 km bike ride, and a 422 km run—equivalent to 10 consecutive triathlons.
Her impressive journey continued in August 2017 when Hill secured a remarkable second-place finish among female participants in the grueling Buchs, Switzerland event. Just two months later, she ascended to the top of the podium in León, Mexico, triumphing as the overall first-place female finisher.
The year 2018 saw Hill’s triumph in the Swiss Deca Ultra in Buchs, where she emerged victorious in first place. Bolstered by this triumph, Hill resolved to tackle the next frontier in ultra triathlons — the elusive double deca. The challenge had never been conquered by a Canadian athlete, a feat that did not deter Hill.
You can follow Hill’s progress in Switzerland in 2023 here.