The road to Kona: Hollie Cradduck
Hollie Cradduck went from a non-athlete to forming part of Team GB racing at Kona, a huge challenge she had taken on for her cousin Rosie, who tragically died in her sleep at the age of 19 whilst supporting her at her first Ironman race in Tenby two years ago. On Saturday the 10th of October 2015, Hollie realised her dream, and did Rosie proud.
Hollie told me that she was training for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. “Wow!” I said, with a pang of envy. Hollie told me that she had moved to Lanzarote from the UK to train for the race, having qualified in Tenby, Wales in 2014. She told me that she was raising money in memory of Rosie. We smiled and said good luck, and put our heads down. I saw that vision in pink headed for Kona a few times that day. Little did I know at the time just what an incredible and inspiring journey Hollie was on when I met her during that race.
|Hollie Finishing her first IM in Wales|
Tragically, this was to be the best and the worst day of her life. After becoming an Ironman, Hollie learned that her niece, who was like a sister to her, had tragically died unexpectedly whilst she was in Tenby supporting her. “I was only three when Rosie was born, we had a close sisterly bond.” Hollie said.
Lying awake in bed after her race, staring at the ceiling, Hollie decided that she would raise awareness for sudden nocturnal death in epilepsy (SUDEP) by racing in Kona.