The Queen Has Left the Building

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Outside magazine, December 1995

The Queen Has Left the Building
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta

It wasn’t how Paula Newby-Fraser had envisioned her au revoir at the Hawaii Ironman. And for those packing the sidelines, it was hard to watch. But with just 400 yards to go in what she had promised would be her last appearance in the event, the seven-time champion and undisputed diva of women’s triathlon was lying on the sizzling pavement, delirious and dehydrated. After
swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, and running about 26, the 33-year-old Zimbabwean had collapsed, and Bostonian Karen Smyers ran by to take her first Ironman title, in 9:16:46. Causing a great deal of concern among fans and doctors, Newby-Fraser remained on the ground for about 20 minutes before rising to her feet and trotting the rest of the way to take fourth place. “I’m
just glad to finish,” was all she said afterward. As for her long-term plans? Newby-Fraser says they include running an occasional race “for fun” and watching bad TV. In the men’s event, 37-year-old Mark Allen, a five-time winner, made up a 13.5-minute deficit to beat German Thomas Hellrigel with a time of 8:20:34.

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