Wow. Haven't stopped smiling since I crossed the finish line on Saturday.

Only in my wildest dreams did I think I'd make the top 10, so eighth is just superb.

As I crossed the finish line I was a mess - physically and mentally.

My feet were bleeding with blisters, my calves were tight, my hamstrings tighter. My right knee was aching in a way it's never ached before, my lungs were burning, my chest heaving and my heart was beating at more than 180 beats a minute.

I could barely catch my breath and if you'd asked me my name I might have struggled to answer correctly.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Would I have had it any other way? Definitely not.

I sat down before I fell down, knowing I'd given it everything and then a bit more and really didn't have much of an idea of where I'd finished.

I was hoping it was in the top 10, because I knew I'd biked well, but I couldn't be sure of how many had overtaken me on the run.

Somewhere not far from the finish line I heard someone shouting my name and looked up to see my mum, grinning from ear to ear, shouting "I think you were seventh!".


That knocked me out.

I staggered towards the athletes' village to try to find a toilet and get some water but I really didn't know what was going on. Then I saw a friend who said he thought I'd finished higher than seventh.

Everything seemed crazy and I knew I had to get horizontal - fast - so down I went.

My body was still trying to recover from nearly two and a half hours of intense effort. A quick check on my heart rate monitor showed my average heart rate for the past 2hrs 28 minutes and 15 seconds had been 161 beats per minute and I'd burnt 1545 calories.

If you consider my resting heart rate first thing in the morning is 36 or 37 beats per minute you start to see why I was struggling!

Before even finding out my official result I got up and followed the herd of competitors making their way to the athletes' village where food and drink were being given out. It was a tough choice - beer or recovery drink.

Once a journalist, always a journalist ;-) By that time, someone had my official result - eighth. Get in! What a year!

The blood, sweat and tears all suddenly seemed worth it.

If someone had taken me to one side when I first did the Blenheim Triathlon last year and told me I'd finish eighth at the World Championships I would have laughed out loud.

I worked hard for it, though, and sacrificed a lot. I fly home later today and return to work on Wednesday. It's going to be strange being a reporter again. No doubt they'll save all the worst jobs for me come Wednesday morning to make sure I crash land back to Earth ;-) I can fly back home, though, safe in the knowledge that I gave it my best, but it's exciting to think there's still plenty to work on.

I'm looking forward to taking a few weeks off training, giving the body and mind a break and reviewing the season and then planning for next year.

This is only the beginning...