Move over Natascha Badmann. There’s a new Natasha on the Ironman scene. Like the fan favourite German, the new Natasha has a million dollar smile. Ironman officials have suggested that it was this innocent smile that allowed the rookie triathlete to get so far into the race before being pulled off the course just five miles from the finish.
Transition zone marshal, Helen Graves, noticed Natasha entering the run course with a large, wheeled contraption. “I’d never seen anything like it before.” said Graves, “I just assumed that it was some sort of prosthetic device. I didn’t want to appear insensitive, so I let her go. Besides, she was so far back; I never thought that she could affect the outcome of the race.”
Aid station volunteers were similarly perplexed. “That girl was really moving!” exclaimed Lloyd Mercer, “I asked if there was some sort of motor in there. She was running way faster than anyone else I’d seen all day. But with such a sweet smile, I couldn’t bare to stand in her way.”
Nobody seemed overly concerned about the device (a 79 lbs rattletrap with no freewheel) until Natasha reached the turnaround on the Queen K. To the astonishment of race announcers Natasha had moved up through most of the pro field and was poised to overtake Canada’s Sam McGlone for second place.
At the 21 mile mark, Natasha was running even with McGlone and Germany’s Marc Pschebizin. Head Marshal Owen Jeeves concluded that this would have to stop and pulled the young athlete to the dismay of a growing number of fans eager to see if Natasha could ride the treadmill bike to victory.
When asked for comment, officials at the Bicycle Forest, the developers of the treadmill bike, only had one thing to say…. “Happy Birthday Natasha.”