Becomes A Professional Triathlete
Realizing that she was only five or six minutes behind the winner, Newby-Fraser knew that if she trained harder, she could win the event. She also noted that the winners of the race were professional athletes who could make a living from their sport. After talking it over with her parents, she moved to southern California and hit the racing circuit. In her first year of competition, she won $25,000.
In California, Newby-Fraser began working with trainer Paul Huddle, who taught her how to train harder. In the 1986 Hawaii Ironman, she came in second, behind Patricia Puntous. Puntous was later disqualified because she had drafted during the bicycle portion of the race, and Newby-Fraser was declared the winner.
In 1987, Newby-Fraser came in third in the Hawaii Ironman. For the next eight years, though, she won the women's Hawaii Ironman seven times, missing first place only in 1995, and broke records in the bicycle and marathon portions of the course. She also set a world record time of 8:50:24, which is still unbroken. In 1993, despite having taken six months off to heal a stress fracture in her ankle, she won again.
She won the Hawaii Ironman again in 1994, and said that the 1995 competition would be her last. As she approached the finish line in 1995, she collapsed 200 feet away. Slowly and painfully, she dragged herself to the finish, crossing the line 22 minutes later. Even with that painful delay, she still came in fourth. In 1996, Newby-Fraser came back to the Hawaii Ironman, finishing first with a time of 9:06:40, a great end to her Hawaii Iron-man career.
- Paula Newby-Fraser - "running Is My Passion"
- Paula Newby-Fraser - "competing Touched A Spark In Me"
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