sunburnWest Midlands firefighter Jenny Hill is in training for one of the world’s toughest endurance triathlon events, the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii later this year.

The retained firefighter from Ladywood community fire station’s Purple Watch, will swim 2.4 miles in the Pacific off Kona Island before cycling 112 miles and running a full marathon on 11 October.

“The Hawaii event is regarded by many as the pinnacle in triathlon. I was really pleased to qualify,” said Jenny. “I’ll be competing against men and women in the 30-34 age group. I’m doing what’s known as the Ironman, and it’s certainly going to be a long old day!”

The 31-year-old is no stranger to elite-level events having won bronze for Great Britain in the European long distance triathlon in Germany, and competed on behalf of her former brigade, London, in the Firefighter Ironman World Championship, becoming Firefighter World Champion.

She qualified for Hawaii by coming second in her age group in Ironman Wales 2013, beating professional triathletes with a time of 11hrs 18mins. Last year she was best female long distance triathlete with Birmingham’s Tri Club.

'Just finishing will be tough'
Jenny, who was born and raised in Solihull, is a qualified mountain expedition leader and has led trips in South America and the Himalayas. She recently transferred to West Midlands Fire Service after serving for three years with London Fire Brigade. She still holds the LFB’s all-time fittest female firefighter record.

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The BRAT member (Birmingham Running and Triathlon Club) started her intensive training for Hawaii last month. She is being coached by Bill Black who mentored the first GB Olympic triathlon team for Sydney 2000.

"The Hawaii championship is very challenging, and just finishing will be tough," she added. "The seas are rough and are known to have a few sharks, and it will be very windy and hot. I might have to get used to the temperatures by training in our kit drying room at the fire station!  

"I absolutely love triathlon, which is probably for the best as it will cost me around £4,000 to enter, travel to and compete in Hawaii. It’s mentally and physically demanding. There are some great people involved, and I get to compete in some beautiful places."