Some of you may know that I pledged to complete a series of challenges to raise money for Cash For Kids, an amazing charity that helps young people across the country.
I thought that now was an apt time to update you on my progress as I completed arguably my toughest challenge yet on Sunday; The Ironman UK, which is held in Bolton. I was fortunate enough to have been sponsored by Service Care Solutions, who funded some of my kit.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this, The Ironman comprises of:
42.2km run (a marathon)
All of which are done on a hilly course in the Lancashire countryside and through Bolton town centre.
I have been training for this for two years (as last year's event was cancelled) so I was confident that I had put the work in to complete it, as long as my bike didn’t break or my calf muscle didn’t flare up again, but I didn’t really know how fast I could do it.
There was a spanner in the works which was the 'great British summer' deciding that a torrential downpour (which created rivers down the middle of the roads) is what we needed to help us along…but it was all part of the experience I guess!
I said to my partner, Anna, that if I did it in less than 15 hours I would be happy, if I did it in less than 14 hours I would be buzzing; as it turned out, I finished the course in less than 13 hours (12:49) which I was flabbergasted at!
I had a real struggle at around mile 18, I think that is what they call 'hitting the wall', but the friends and family that came out to support me gave me such a boost when I needed it, which enabled me to just crack on; I even got a high-five from Service Care's very own Josh Morrison (who works in our Social Work Division) so thanks for that Josh!
The event was brilliant, with closed roads for the whole of the bike and run route and lots of people supporting the athletes with everything you can think of; pots and pans, drums, drummers on stilts, crazy wrestlers blasting music and dancing at the top of a climb, a crazy Hulk Hogan impressionist (whose enthusiasm didn’t wane for the entire 7 hours I was on the bike for) – it was incredible!
I would encourage anyone who has thought about completing an Ironman to do it, the adrenaline rush is pretty epic - I still don’t think I have returned to baseline yet!
An update of my list of challenges:
Half Marathon: COMPLETE
25/04: Lancashire Sportive (100 mile cycle ride) - COMPLETE
23/05: Horwich Triathlon - COMPLETE
31/05: Windermere Half Iron Man - COMPLETE
04/07: Bolton Iron Man - COMPLETE
07/08: Coast to Coast Cycle (roughly 170 miles from Morecambe to Bridlington)
03/09: Ring of Fire firelight ultra marathon
10/10: Manchester Marathon
TBC: Run the three peaks of Yorkshire
TBC: National Three Peak Challenge
I still have some pretty challenging events ahead of me, in particular the coast to coast cycle (170 miles), which I am planning on completing in just one day.
If you would like to support me in my aim to raise as much money as possible for Cash For Kids, please click here - anything at all you could spare would be very gratefully received.