Triple Challenge by guest blogger Simon Batty
Three years ago I embarked on a 12-month challenge to go from 'couch to Ironman' for Ironman Wales 2012, at the age of 44. When I started I couldn’t swim a length freestyle, nor run more than a mile without stopping and I had never ridden a proper road bike before. I lost two stone in weight, learned to sea swim, race a road bike and run long distance and completed Ironman Wales in less than 14 hours exactly 364 days after I started my training.
Through the kind generosity and support of an amazing range of people managed to raise £2,800 to equip the Tenby RNLI lifeboat with night vision equipment; essential for night time rescues in Carmarthen Bay and The Irish Sea.
What I didn't expect was quite how much that challenge would change my whole life. Just getting outdoors and running trails, climbing mountains, riding my bike and swimming in the sea has re-introduced me to many of the things I took for granted as a teenager. Since then I have qualified as a Triathlon Coach and in my spare time help others to get off the couch and get fitter, healthier and have more fun in the great outdoors. Which got me thinking.
We often hear about how important it is for young people to experience the challenge of the outdoors so that they can build their confidence, teamwork, leadership and life skills. But not everyone can access these opportunities, without the help of organisations like The Outward Bound Trust. So I decided to embark on a much bigger challenge for 2015.
It’s my 'Triple Challenge 2015'. Two parts of the challenge are now successfully complete, but the biggest is yet to come. I ran the London Marathon in 3hrs 18mins in April and the inaugural Slateman Savage Triathlon in Snowdonia in May, which involved two days of swimming, biking and running in and around some of the most dramatic and hilly landscape that we have.
The final and toughest part of my challenge is on the 3rd, 4th and 5th July in Pembrokeshire. The Long Course Weekend is an Iron Distance Triathlon raced over 3 days and comprises a 2.4mile sea swim, a 112 mile bike race and a very hilly 26.2 mile marathon. Last year more than 2,000 competitors from more than 30 countries travelled to Pembrokeshire to take part and the event won the Triathlon of the Year award.
My aim is to raise £2,000 for The Outward Bound Trust by completing all three challenges. I am only half way towards my target – so I need a little help!
If you can help support my challenge yourself, or spread the word, I would be most grateful and so would the many, many young people that benefit from the work of The Outward Bound Trust.
Donations can be made online at virginmoneygiving.com/simonbatty