Anne Van Dam, ironwoman of golden heart

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Anne Van Dam, ironwoman of golden heart

She is a Solheim Cup star, five-time LET winner and one of the strongest golfers on the LPGA Tour. But now, all in the name of a good cause, Anne van Dam can add to her record also finishing a triathlon. Just one week after her participation in the Andalucia Open De Espana (finished in the top 10), she completed the Ironman 70.3 in Indian Wells in California.

Anne Van Dam, results

For those unfamiliar with triathlon, Ironman 70.3 is a three-leg race: 1.9km open water swim
90km by bike
21km run.
Van Dam finished the race in 6 hours and 8 minutes, finishing in 34th place in her category, a very good result.

The fraction that worried her the most was swimming. “I'm used to swimming in a pool, with walls and a bottom line to follow. In the open sea it is another thing ”, she declared before departure. “It's definitely a challenge,” she added, “I run and cycle whenever I can, and combining them was something I've always wanted to do”.

Anne van Dam wanted to participate in this race to promote a fundraiser for little Grace Godfrey, the seriously ill daughter of LPGA golfer friend Jane Park and caddy Pete. Van Dam has already raised more than $16,000 to help them with equipment, hospital care and specialty therapies not covered by the family's insurance.

Triathlon is an individual multidisciplinary sport, which also includes team competitions (also called relays). The triathlon is divided into three disciplines that take place in succession and without interruption; they are common to all athletes and have a fixed order: swimming, cycling and running.

The total race time is calculated including the transitions between one lap and the next, called transition 1 - T1 (swim/bike) and transition 2 - T2 (bike/run). Since 2000 it has been an Olympic specialty, both for men and women, and from 2021 the team competition was also introduced with the mixed relay formula (2 men and 2 women).