A MUM-of-two from Milford Haven says conquering Ironman Wales has also helped her beat depression.

Emotions were running high for Makala Doughty as she crossed the finish line in Tenby on Sunday night, after almost 16 hours on the go.

“It was awesome, absolutely brilliant,” said Makala, who turned 50 this year.

“I had a bit of a dark moment on lap three, it got really hard and I wondered how I was going to finish, but apart from that I loved it.

“It’s been very emotional, I just can’t believe I did it!”

The last 18 months have been a real journey for Makala.

She took part in her first ever triathlon last June ‘as a bit of a joke’, but now can't imagine life without exercise.

“I was fat and old and had bad knees,” she said.

“But I bought a bike and started training, and I just got addicted.”

Preparation for Ironman has involved training up to 19 hours a week, with 6am starts on weekends, and missing out on a lot of school holiday fun with her children, aged 13 and 15.

“My kids have given up a lot this year because of my training,” said Makala.

But as well as getting fitter, stronger, and losing around three stone, Makala’s strict regime has also booster her mental health.

“I suffer from depression, and I feel so much better now.

“After work I used to be exhausted. Now I’ll be out on the bike for three hours or go on a run.

“It’s changed my life completely and the lives of those around me.

“I’m loving life, I’m so much more positive,” she said.

“You don’t have more time, because training takes up time, but in the time I have I feel I’m a better person to be around.”

Makala has also raised more than £600 for Wales Air Ambulance by completing Ironman.

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