Sport

Duffy relieved to escape Boulder floods

They say bad things happen in threes, so with all that has gone on with triathlete Flora Duffy lately, escaping the Colorado flooding with only minimal damage was a huge relief for the Bermudian.

Duffy is still recovering from a fractured foot which prevented her from travelling to London to compete in last weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. Before that she faced another health issue when she learned she was anaemic which required treatment and prevented her from competing.

But last week’s flooding near her home in Boulder, one of the hardest hit areas of the state, didn’t further disrupt her life.

Several people have died in the flooding.

“I was very lucky because I was not really impacted by the flood,” said Duffy who was voted Bermuda’s Female Athlete of the Year this year for the third time.

“One room in the basement of the house I live in started to flood on day one of the flooding but we managed to keep it under control, and the damage was minimal. Like I said we were lucky, the rest of Boulder did not fare so well.

“A lot of houses, schools, and businesses have been hit hard by the flood and in some cases destroyed. My neighbourhood, which is located in the centre of Boulder, is fine but one mile down the road is total destruction. It is heartbreaking.

“Boulder is slowly starting to rebuild and, yes, the pictures you see online of the flood are really that bad. The media is not sensationalising this disaster.”

Another Bermudian triathlete based in Boulder, Tyler Butterfield, had to escape the devastation on foot with his pregnant wife and young daughter last week and is now in Hawaii earlier than planned to prepare for the Ironman World Championships on October 12.

Duffy, whose mobility has been hampered by the foot injury, remained in Colorado, letting friends know of her safety on Twitter. She doesn’t know when she will be able to resume training.

“It has impacted my training fairly significantly because a lot of the roads I usually ride on are closed, particularly all the roads up the various canyons into the mountains,” said the Olympian. “However, relative to what other people are going through, it is not a big deal.”

Duffy is hoping to recover in time to compete in a triathlon in Maui at the end of next month. She is now a full-time professional triathlete, having graduated the University of Colorado, Boulder in June with a BA in Sociology.

“Apart from the flood, things have been pretty up and down with my training and racing,” she said. “I currently have a stress fracture in my left foot which means I can’t run and I am uncertain if I will race again this season.

“I have to take it week by week to see how my foot heals. However I am hoping to do the Xterra Triathlon World Championships in Maui at the end of October.

“Along with the foot injury I have been dealing with some health issues which prevented me from racing all August. At the end of July after a few horrible weeks of training and not feeling well, I discovered I was anaemic and had to have two iron IVs to help bring my iron levels up.

“I finally started to feel better and then I fractured my foot. So the season has been very mentally and physically challenging for me, but these things happen.”