Paulette Dalton completes Swiss Ironman
Paulette Dalton drapes the Canadian flag over her shoulders in jubilation after completing the Ironman Switzerland Triathlon earlier this month.
TORONTO - "Twelve hours of exercise - it takes a lot out of you," Paulette Dalton says matter-of-factly.
The St. Edward, P.E.I., native recently returned to her home in Toronto following a two-week vacation in Switzerland, which included participating in the Ironman Switzerland Triathlon.
It was her fourth-ever Ironman, and her fastest yet. She finished in a time of 12 hours 44 minutes 15 seconds (12:44:15), beating her previous best time by nearly four minutes.
And she put up her best time despite feeling nauseous for much of the race.
"I was struggling, I will admit, so I was just trying to get done with the course as quickly as I could," she said.
Her body would have been happier with her, she acknowledged, if she just slowed down.
Her health improved and she was feeling fine for the last half of the running leg of the race. Overall, she was 15th amongst the 23 participants in the female 25-to-29 age category, but eighth in her category for the running leg.
"My run is definitely my strongest point," she acknowledged.
Although happy with her overall time, Dalton admitted it was bittersweet.
It was the first Ironman that her father, Paul, didn't run with her. He's preparing for Ironman Canada in Penticton, B.C., late next month.
"I'm going to be sad to miss it," she said.
She ran the last three Ironman Canada events with him, but her vacation time is now depleted. Besides, the Toronto registered nurse heads back to school in September in pursuit of her masters in nursing degree. She will continue working full time during her schooling.
Despite living in different provinces since 2002, the father-and-daughter duo have been each other's biggest motivator, challenging each other along the way.
It was Paulette who got her father started in running.
"I was struggling, I will admit, so I was just trying to get done with the course as quickly as I could.” - Paulette Dalton
She was in Grade 9 or 10, she recalls, and he was taking her to a running event. Rather than sit in the car and wait, he decided to join in. They ran their first marathon together in 2004. He was the first to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and, this year, she joined him.
Although she will be cutting back on her running while in school, she hopes to run Boston with her father again next year.
The 2002 Westisle graduate maintains a busy fitness schedule, committed to an exercise routine six days a week.
One of the highlights of the Switzerland race was running the final lap carrying a Canadian flag and hearing "Go Canada" cheers.
After the race, Dalton and her boyfriend, Triton Hall, vacationed in Switzerland. They took a trip up the Alps, but spent much of their time at a lake, swimming and feeding the swans.
"It was really beautiful, very relaxing," she said.
Dalton's times for the Swiss Ironman were 1:28:10 for the 3.8-kilometre swim, 7:01:01 for the 180-kilometre bike race and 4:07:29 for the 42.1-kilometre run. She had quick transition times of 3:03 between the swim and the bike and 4:31 between bike and run.
She endured a few kicks during the swimming portion of the race, which is not unexpected considering there were over 2,000 swimmers in the lake in Zurich at the same time.
Eric McCarthy is the western bureau manager of the Journal Pioneer. The "Islanders Away" feature appears every Thursday. If you would like to suggest an "Islander Away" for this feature, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.