Published 04/09/2013 | 00:00
SUE Redmond, from Crossabeg, is officially an Ironman, after completing an arduous challenge with another 2,000 athletes in Sweden.
Now she is planning her next marathon - organising her wedding to her fiance Mike in Wexford in June.
'Then we plan to live happily ever after,' she said.
Sue, aged 34, is the second Wexford woman to complete an international Ironman competition and follows 61-year-old Maria Casey Breen from Staplestown who completed her marathon in July.
'I completed my marathon in 3:55 which is a super time after the bike and swim. My overall Ironman time was 11:35, which was awesome,' said Sue.
Ironman Sweden involved a 3.8 km swim in the Kalmar Strait, part of the Baltic Sea; a 122 km bike course taking in the 6 km Oland Bridge, which was the longest bridge in Europe for more than 25 years, and a marathon run around three loops of the historic city of Kalmar.
One of seven children, Sue left Wexford in 1996 to go to college at UCD, following by a move to Limerick, where she worked as a medical writer.
She followed that with two years travelling around Asia, Africa and Australia, before another session in Limerick as a medical writer, a Masters and then work in youth work, a career path which has now taken her to Galway where she leading up the Best Practice Unit with Foroige.
She also completed a PhD at Christmas, giving her just a few months to prepare for the Ironman.
A black belt in Tae Kwon-do, she has always had an athletic bent, so the Ironman was something of a test of her mettle, melding as it does long distance running, swimming and cycling, much of her training carried out on what she terms 'nice long runs' around Crossabeg and Ballymurn.
The daughter of Sean and Margaret, Sue has four sisters - Ann, in Wexford, Margaret in Gusserane, twins Catherine and Mary, in Cork and Gort respectively - and two brothers, John in Olylegate and Michael in Crossabeg.
She said Catherine, who has completed the Dublin City Marathon and a few half marathons, and Michael were thinking about testing out a sprint triathlon.
Talking about her Ironman success Sue said it was an unforgettable experience:
'I will never forget the feeling of the last 2-4 km running through the town and towards the finish, it was truly amazing.
Mike handed me the Irish flag as I ran towards the finish line to the cheers of the crowd and the lovely words 'Sue Redmond, you are an Ironman!'