We don’t normally venture outside Meath for our stories but this Kerry womans bravery deserves recognition.
It was only after noticing the knock had suddenly swelled significantly that brave Ailis opted to go for an X-Ray which confirmed the damage.
Maybe she should have sensed bad luck at the start of the race as when the digits on her race number, 319, are added together they total unlucky 13.
Not that a trivial thing like a broken ankle is going to see her sidelined for long as she intends competing in an aptly named, Ironman, competition in Mallorca in May.
Recalling the event at which things went horribly wrong or very right depending on which way you look at it, Ailis said, ‘ I was out in the South of France teaching yoga at a retreat recently and took part in a trail race at the end of the term. It was a 19 km mountain race in the Calanques UNESCO site in the South of France.
‘I wasn’t expecting to do that well as I hadn’t raced such a technical course before.
‘At the 2km to go mark I was running great but was aware my legs were tired toward the end so I was mindful of that on the last technical descent.”
‘The crowd were shouting ‘premiere femme’ ,(First woman), as I was running and five males ahead of me heard this so stepped back off the trail to let me go past, I said no but they insisted.
Now, I had five of them tearing down the descent behind me and that automatically makes you go a bit faster, the next thing was my ankle went over on a rock and I heard a loud crunching / tearing sound.
‘I knew I had done damage to my ankle but I was winning the race and that was all that mattered so I continued on to the finish!
‘To be fair it was the winning drove me on, if I was say 20th I would have stopped but there was no chance of that when I had a chance of winning.
‘I actually didn’t feel the pain, even though I knew there was a problem, the adrenalin kicked in and it was only when I had cooled down afterwards the pain hit me.
‘I was flying back home that evening so there was nothing I could do about it so I just iced and took anti-inflammatories.
‘I guessed I had torn ligaments and hoped that was all. But I managed to drive back from Shannon to Castleisland and go to my little boy’s soccer match the next morning.
‘The swelling was very bad so I decided I better get it X-rayed and that confirmed the broken ankle.
‘I’m entered in the Ironman in May and as of now I am going, there are three disciplines so I can still cycle and do the swimming on my back in the pool, the running might be problematic but I’ll find a way, I’ll manage somehow.’