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11:40am Sunday 13th October 2013 in Sport
MICHELLE Parsons battled atrocious weather to win the Elbaman ironman triathlon in Italy.
The Evesham-based Team Tri UK competitor overcame driving wind and storms to record a time of 12 hours 15 minutes 37 seconds for victory over the 3.8km swim, 180km bike section and marathon run.
Rated as one of the toughest triathlons in the world, 265 athletes started the swim in the bay at Marina di Campo.
Although the swim section is perceived to be her weakest, Parsons exited the sea in one hour 22 minutes 39 seconds to begin the bike section of six climbs around the west side of the island of Elba.
Despite conditions forcing some of the cyclists to crash, Parsons made her way through the field from 14th overall to second.
Her split of seven hours two minutes 50 seconds left her trailing leader Michela Tessaro by almost eight minutes with the marathon leg to complete.
After the first of five laps, Parsons had reduced the deficit to just 90 seconds and she soon moved into the lead.
It was a position she held on to, finishing the marathon in three hours 41 minutes 50 seconds.
The men’s winner was Leonardo Simoncini in 10.34.22.
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