Iron woman Bichard

TOUGH: Di Bichard (right) was fourth in the Ironman, her brother-in-law and sister Andrew and Sharryn Macgowan came 12th and 15th respectively in their divisions.

TOUGH: Di Bichard (right) was fourth in the Ironman, her brother-in-law and sister Andrew and Sharryn Macgowan came 12th and 15th respectively in their divisions.

PORT Lincoln athlete Di Bichard has finished fourth in the Taupo Ironman in New Zealand.

With its rich history, pristine fresh water swim and a world class host town Taupo Ironman New Zealand is a bucket list race for triathletes.

Half the field comes from outside the country each year and it is truly a fantastic international Ironman event, this year it celebrated its 35th year.

Bichard said Taupo had breathtaking scenery and the Kiwi spirit shown by the locals was sensational.

The event has more than 2000 volunteers from a population of 22,000.

"On arrival you are greeted with a positive letter written from one of the local school children and it's obvious while you are competing that the city loves to be part of the event," Bichard said.

The morning of the race started with a blessing of the lake as the sun peaked over the horizon with the local Maori rowing to the start line.

"If the nerves were not there already they are when you see this," she said.

The swim is a deep water start in a fresh water lake with 1500 competitors trying to hold their spot before the cannon.

The course is a 3.8km swim before competitors change into their riding gear and start the 180km bike course.

"The first half of the ride was perfect but then the wind picked up and we battled head winds, which made it difficult to get nutrition while riding," Bichard said.

Bichard said coming in from the ride she was happy to be getting off the bike but was then faced with a 42.2 kilometre run, a marathon distance to the finish line.

"Whether you are out there to try for a place, achieve a personal best or to try and make it across the finish line it doesn't matter, because when you cross the finish line, and sadly not everyone does, it's one of the most unbelievable experiences of your life," she said.

"I was hoping for top five against my peers, I was 11th out of the water, third after the bike leg and then finished fourth overall."