PARIS — On Oct. 8, Angela Bancroft of Paris Hill started her day in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, with a goal of finishing her fourth Ironman World Championship.

She came home with a ninth-place finish in her age group.

With a few days back home to reflect on her competition, she has worked her way through what she calls a process of highs and lows on how she feels she did.

“I am very proud of how I did,” she said. “Goal one is to finish it — a personal best is another.”

Just six weeks earlier, Bancroft had a very strong performance in an Ironman competition in Canada that helped her confidence level going into Hawaii. It was that race that allowed her to qualify for the world championships.

The world championships in Hawaii are different from those national Ironman competitions, she said.

“The level of competition with the women from around the world is insane,” she said.

After a strong swimming leg in which Bancroft was fifth at the end of a 2.4-mile swim, she struggled on the bike.

“Most of the ride you are very exposed,” she said. “Around mile 20 started a horrible head wind. It drains you, and the average temp on the ride was 94 degrees.”

Bancroft said she felt like she was consistently losing ground and was way behind. Fortunately, all the competitors had a similar battle on the bike.

She finished the 112-mile bike ride in 26th place.

She went into the last running leg not yet knowing where she was placed but felt she was way behind.

At the 6-mile mark of the run, she learned from a friend she was in 15th place.

“Something clicked in and I felt good,” she said. “I really started to have fun on the run, things clicked into place,” as she continued to pass competitors and moved into the ninth-place finish.

Mentally, Bancroft uses her experience to overcome some of the negatives that can go through her head when she is struggling during a race.

“I tell myself that I can do (it) — I’ve done it before,” she said. “You just need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and do it.”

Bancroft continually balances being an athlete, having a family and running her own business. She is content with where she is with her racing career and is at peace with whatever her future in the sport may hold.

If there is one piece of advice that Bancroft would pass on, it would be one she learned from her parents.

“You never quit,” she said. “You always do what you set out to do. You work your hardest and it will pay off.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.