You may not have seen Chris at the club much recently. That’s because he has been training for Iron Man Wales. And if you are not quite sure what that means here is a word of explanation. It’s a full marathon, but instead of carb loading and a good night’s sleep before jogging to the start competitors undertake a 2.5 mile sea-swim and 112 mile cycle ride.
Chris completed IMW at Tenby last weekend in 15 hours 25 minutes and 32 seconds; 1.49.58 swimming, 7.53.38 on the bike and the marathon in 5.11.32. That is just amazing. Chris posted the following report on Facebook earlier today, and that too is an achievement. With his permission I have copied it verbatim.
The Oldest Ironing Man in the Village.
Thanks ever so much for all your good wishes and congratulations. It was a long but fantastic day out that actually went pretty quickly.
The swim was tough to be honest with 50 odd people being taken out of the water by the R.N.L.I. A few being hospitalised. Of course, Sally Napthen, who drove down to add additional brilliant support had done what all good coaches would and anticipated this. I tried to claw my way aboard an R.N.L.I. inflatable only to be pushed back into the water the crew man saying 'Sally said you'd be fine' and so I was!!
What a spectacle the beach was at sunrise with over 2000 swimmers in black wet suits standing to the Welsh National anthem, quite emotional. After the dip, 1k run to the bikes and a tour of the area which as some have said is truly beautiful all 112 blinking miles of it! Thought there were hills up here in the north but we don't have a monopoly believe me. It was a bit like skiing you have to do the boring bit to the top and then the fun starts, brilliant whacking into and through Tenby with the streets lined with people shouting and blowing horns and those soddin’ cow bell things (how ungrateful am I?)
So bike back on the rack running kit on break out the Buckley vest!! The run, like the bike and in fact the swim, was hilly but the encouragement never waned for an instant right up and beyond the witching hour volunteers were still handing out drinks, snacks and (not sure I can actually write the word without tasting them) GELS, there I said it!!
So, swim, bike, run for 15.5 hours, maybe first Buckley vest on the 'red carpet' as they call the run in to the amazing finish to hear announced '' Chris Higgins you are........ hogging the camera let someone else have a go''. Not the quickest time but can do better. Not really decided on the next one though one there will be. Probably nominated the same as Tenby was, a lap top computer, credit card and that critical ingredient a bottle of red wine, a lethal combination but one that can and has paid dividends.
Sorry for the diatribe but it was brilliant, recommended to anyone.
To close I really want to thank everyone for their genuine support and in particular, Buckley and Chester Tri colleagues who have helped no end even when they didn't know it. Lovely Wife and of course Coach Sal who has been unerringly positive even when I wasn't sure I was.