A triathlete from Australia hoping to compete in next weekend’s Ironman UK race in Bolton has been left in limbo after her bike and gear went missing in Heathrow Airport.
Sian Hurley, originally from Morpeth, flew from Brisbane with her family last weekend on a Malaysian Airlines flight, via Kuala Lumpur, to London Heathrow.
They then flew to Newcastle, but while the family’s luggage made the connecting flight, Hurley’s bike and gear did not. While officials insisted that the bike was on board the Newcastle flight, according to the triathlete’s tracking device the equipment remained in Terminal 2 at Heathrow.
Last week, a technical malfunction at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 caused a massive luggage backlog, with some passengers forced to fly without their bags while others faced hours of delays at check-in.
Hurley told the BBC that she has been contacting the airport, as well as Malaysian Airlines and British Airways, since arriving on Monday.
BA said it would try to help Hurley, but noted that transferring luggage from one terminal to another was the responsibility of Malaysian Airlines.
Hurley, who works as an intensive care nurse in Brisbane, posted on Facebook earlier this week that it was “absolutely disgraceful” that her bike and gear were lost, after “12 months of hard training [and] a huge amount of money spent”.
The triathlete has competed in six Ironman events, including the 2014 World Championships in Hawaii, and had spent the last year building up for the Bolton race on 3 July, England’s only full-distance Ironman, which offers qualifying slots for this year’s worlds.
“I've always ran since the age of 11 but a few years ago I broke my ankle and took up cycling and love it, I love the whole endurance of Ironman, pushing my body to its limits, being fit and being a good role model for my kids,” she told the BBC.
Hurley has described the wait for news about her bike – which remains lost almost seven days after she arrived in the UK – as stressful and disappointing.
“There is no sense of urgency from Heathrow, but I have one as I have to build my bike and get training on it,” she told the BBC.
“Every day I'm not training I'm losing time – it’s utterly disappointing and very stressful.
“I haven't seen my family for three years and they've missed the kids growing up and now I'm back here I just can't relax and enjoy my family time.
“But every day I'm off my bike I worry about my training.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.