Challenge Henley and Bella’s last Iron distance race.

by Stephen: from 12 September 2013

On Sunday Bella and I raced Challenge Henley.  It is the 3rd year of the event, I have raced all 3.  I have enjoyed all races.

This year It was a very special event for the Bayliss’ as it was to be Bella’s last ever Iron distance race.  I know Bella was unsure of her form, but I was confident she could do a decent job on race day, however I think we both didn’t expect her to win.

So come race day and to see Bella in the lead early on the bike then onto the run I could see that she had a very big lead.  I was very excited to think that she might be able to have a fairy tale ending to her career at Ironman and win her final race.

Which she did with a dominant performance.  It was a really great moment to wait for Bella at the finish line with Charlie in my arms and to both welcome her home on her lap of honour(or last race of honour).

It was a local race for me really, so all the Bayliss’s were their to see and support us both.  It was a very special day to end a very special career.

I have mentioned in one of my other blogs Bella’s incredible results through her career.  I think one of the most incredible feats was winning 5 Iron distance races in one year.  And 9 in total in a 2year span!  Pretty impressive.

For me my race went ok.  I had a good swim, leading with Rhys Davies behind me and a good gap to all the rest.  On the bike.  Rys did a fine job in the first half of the bke and it was nice to have some company, we could see on the out and backs that Tom Lowe was catching us, but everybody else was a long way behind.  On the last lap, Rhys dropped off and Tom eventually caught me and we came into T2 together.

I tried to run with Tom, but my legs just wouldn’t go at the speed they needed too and he opened up a really good lead on the first lap.  On the 2nd half of the run I managed to hold the gap but I had no chance of chatching unless he blew,  which he didn’t and so I finished 2nd.

All in all the Bayliss’s had a great day and Bella’s performance made it so extra special.  We were both over the moon:)


We are now in Scotland visiting Bella’s family, Charlie is having a great time, seeing lots of animals and he loves tractors, today he spent ages sitting on a tractor at Bella’s friends Kirstie’s pretending to drive it.