A MUM-OF-TWO made to feel she wasn’t good enough when she was younger has proved anything is possible.

Claire Smith, who hated sports at school, is today celebrating winning third place in a gruelling deca triathlon which includes a continuous 24 mile swim, 1120 mile bike ride, and 10 marathons.

Claire, whose saying is ‘all that it takes is all that you’ve got’, said she feels proud she is a positive role model for her children.

The 42-year-old from Christchurch said: “I didn’t like any sports at school, I’m asthmatic. I was a real rebel, unfit, didn’t like that sort of stuff.

“When I was younger a few people made me feel I wasn’t good enough.

“I was destructive for a while but endurance sport helped me find a way to channel negative thoughts and also start to look after myself.

“Now if I don’t think I can do something, I am just drawn to it. I have to see if I can try to do it.

"If I feel like I can’t do it, that’s it, I have to try to train myself and get over any fears or any obstacles. I have to try to do it.”

When Claire had her daughter, now aged 21, she began running to lose weight – and became hooked.

“Then I got hooked on the whole marathon thing," she said.

"Triathlon came into play but I couldn’t just do a normal triathlon. I had to kill myself on full Ironman, double Ironmans and since then more and more extreme events.”

Claire, a graphic designer, set up her own events company Brutal Events seven years ago.

And it is Claire who is behind one of the hardest triathlons of the world, an extreme triathlon of varying distances up Snowdon.

“I love seeing everyone from normal people to really good athletes absolutely smash the courses and push their limits.”

Each day though, Claire pushes her own limits to prove there is nothing that can faze her and her goal has been to complete a deca triathlon.

Despite several unsuccessful attempts Claire refused to stop trying and she is now celebrating after winning third female in the SwissUltra continuous deca.

“I’d decided until I’d done it, I was not going to give up. It was a case of just getting on with it. I even got the tattoo of the distances on my arm before I finished it, which some may say is stupid, but I was always going to do it and when I had doubts, all I had to do was look down.

“Every now and then I genuinely feel ‘I can do this.’ I knew as long as nothing else happened out of my control, I was going to complete that one.

“It was just about breaking it down.

“It is all in the mind. The minute you start feeling negative, it’s very tricky on top of the sleep deprivation and nutrition is tricky too. You get to the point where you don’t want to eat anymore. Your body starts shutting down and you have to force yourself to continually take in calories even if you don’t want to.

“On that one, I was having four hours sleep at night so I’d get up at 2am and try to get a half marathon done so I’d have a meal replacement shake and a banana, do a few laps, come back have a cereal bar, another banana, that sort of thing.

“The race itself, I actually came third, then I had to get on a massive box in front of all these people which was probably the hardest thing especially after hurting my Achilles! It was an epic event.

“It is really nice because I want my children to see they can do whatever they put their mind to.

“I do fail at quite a lot of stuff because I set myself up to do these stupid things but they see you have to keep plugging away, keep learning, keep pushing. I hope that’s what they get from it.”

Claire now has her sights set on another deca triathlon she aims to complete in just 10 days.

She will take on the solo challenge in Lanzarote on December 12.

Claire added: “The next horrible thing is the Channel. I really struggle with cold water and I’m scared of open water so this is the ideal one for me. I’ll take part in a relay next year and a solo challenge the following year.

“For me, I am fairly average. I’m not very good at running, I’m not fast on the bike, it’s doing something that is difficult but breaking it down and showing that the normal person can do stuff too. I have back issues which has led to quite a lot of problems, which is why I ride a recumbent bike, I am also asthmatic but it is continually saying I can do this and not letting anything stand in my way. If it does, I make mistakes, I learn from it and I try and change things, I try again, you just keep going.”