August 12th, 2008 12:00am | Adam Bardsley, Oak Telecom, Staff,

The London Marathon. 26.2miles! It must have been over 20years ago I sat on the sofa and moaned to my dad that they wouldn’t let under 18s compete. Well 17years later I finally got around to chalking that off my list of Things To Do Before You Die. Quite enjoyed it so I did a few more. I guess I was googling to find another marathon when I saw an event called IronMan. It’s a 2.4mile swim, 112miles on the bike followed by the full marathon of a 26.2mile run. A quick straw poll in the testosterone filled office here at Oak and we decided it was nigh on impossible and probably included stopping for pie and chips halfway around – which was probably the most appealing aspect!

Once I knew of its existence it just kept gnawing away at my psyche. So I read up a bit and decided I’d give it a go. So I signed up, bought a bike and got in the swimming pool for the first time in over 25years. Well that was a couple of years ago now and I’ve just completed Ironman France in Nice. They seem to pick the hottest places for the events – the temperature hit 32degrees on the day – and some tough terrain. The bike leg included a 13mile section up a mountain. All good fun.

However, it’s not only the preserve of the rakish uber-athlete. The 2000+ people on the start line always comprises all shapes, sizes and ages. The finishing times reflect this with the event taking anything from 8-17hours – during which you will burn around 8,000 calories. That’s a long day in the office in anyone’s book with some very dark moments along the way. For some it’s Race for Life on steroids whilst for others it’s the chance to see just how far the human body will go.

In order to compete then 15-20hours training per week are required and that unfortunately means discovering that there is more than one 5 o’clock in the day. Of course you need to be comfortable with your own company in order to get through a 6-7hour solo training ride in the UK Winter but endurance sport is effort based not skills based. As such the only skill required to succeed is to get out of bed and train…a lot.
2.4m SWIM 112m BIKE 26.2m RUN OVERALL
1:09 5:35 3:31 10:28

Overall position 162nd
Country position 6th (UK athlete)
Age group position 40th

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