I’m often asked the question “why?” Why go for a run when you could go out on the drink? Why go the gym on a Sunday morning instead of playing PS3 FIFA? Why would you even think about entering IRONMAN???!!!!!
As the above video states, when it comes to IRONMAN Anything Is Possible. “IRONMAN is a statement of excellence, passion, commitment”. If you can get through the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run within the the 17 hour time limit then you have undoubtedly earned the title of IRONMAN. I work in one of the UK’s largest office complex’s, I can easily think of colleagues who can comfortably run a sub 4 hr marathon or think nothing of doing a 100+ mile bike ride. I can’t think of anyone I know who has even attempted the 140.6 mile never mind finished it. Similarly, between Facebook and Twitter I have some amazingly fit friends. People who regularly run very quick (approx. 4 hrs) marathons or have completed load bearing marches in the Welsh hills in times that would meet UK Special Forces Selection cut off’s but out of 100+ friends I can only think of one OUTLAW (same 140.6 mile distance triathlon, different organiser) and one IRONMAN.
I’m not a natural athlete. I find front crawl difficult and I’m not a quick marathon runner. My current PB is 5hrs 12mins and that’s without having swam 2.4 mile and cycled 112 mile immediately prior to starting running. Why IRONMAN? It’s the most difficult physical challenge I could think of attempting in memory of my Grandfather When I was younger he was basically my father figure. He passed away when I was 12 so never got to see me accomplish anything of note, I hadn’t yet started playing rugby for school and was 20 years away from discovering the Paras10 and the Fan Dance. I was bullied a lot in primary school and never got to have an adult conversation with Granddad to discuss if I was a disappointment to him or not so there has always been something in the back of my mind about this.
If I can make it across the finish line and earn that coveted title it will give me closure and allow me to be at peace with his memory. Getting in to the exclusive club of existing Ironmen will possibly be the greatest thing I ever accomplish and I know it’s something he will be proud of. Crossing the line will be emotional, like receiving a black belt from the Gracie family or scoring the Premier League winning goal for Newcastle United in front of the Gallowgate End at St James’ Park. A night on the drink or a few hours in on my Ps3 wouldn’t come close to that.
This will be the first song on my iPod once it’s all over.