How would you like to go for a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run, back-to-back?
While to most of us this sounds like a pretty daunting ordeal, Chilean athlete and Olympian, Bárbara Riveros, has made a name for herself winning races in this gruelling endurance event.
A type of triathlon — races that combine swimming, cycling and running — the Iron Man 70.3, or Half-Iron Man, is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, attracting ever-growing numbers of adherents despite its demanding nature. Stamina and high levels of technical proficiency across multiple disciplines come as standard among competitors.
Riveros, 25, though, takes all of this in stride. The young triathlete recently made headlines after adding another achievement to her already considerable list of triumphs by coming first in the Berlin 70.3 event in June 2013, finishing in a speedy 4 hours and 16 minutes.
This recent triumph puts Riveros on the verge of qualification for key events including the Iron Man 70.3 World Championships to be held in Las Vegas in September.
Bárbara was eight when she started running with her father, a key motivator in her subsequent success. As a young child she excelled in mountain biking and other sports before joining Universidad Católica’s sports club where she began to focus on athletics before eventually turning her attention to triathlons.
Darren Smith, Riveros’ trainer since 2012, praised the young Chilean athlete’s achievements and motivation in an interview with TriChile.
“I’m very proud of Bárbara, of how she works and how she applies her skills. She is a great ambassador for Chile,” Smith said.
Speaking about the sport itself, Smith claimed triathlon is going from strength to strength.
“I see it as a huge global sport with a wide range of athletes such as Bárbara and the other big long-distance race stars to those who just want to keep active and stay in shape and enjoy a challenge once or twice a year,” Smith said.
Riveros, who also competed in the Olympic Games in London in 2012, is one of a generation of female Chilean athletes finding success in international sport. Other notable figures are world-championship-winning archer Denisse Van Lamoen and cyclist Paola Muñoz, both of whom also competed in last year’s Olympics.