Outdoor Fitness’s new training diary candidates have set themselves up to enter some mega events in the near future. Here’s an introduction to the new recruits…

Training diary: Ironman Wales

If you take three men that between them have destroyed knees, can’t swim and hate running, then add a pint of beer, what would you expect the logical outcome to be? Err, enter Ironman Wales of course! Let’s introduce the trio.

Training diary: Ironman WalesRICHARD MANNING 47, Richard is a design engineer living in Llandeilo, South Wales.

“My only real sport-related activity before this was cycling, although I now cover good distances and often compete in sportives and some mountain bike events, I actually only started cycling when I turned 40. I also completed a half marathon last year, then realised, I don’t enjoy running and certainly don’t consider myself a runner, as it feels far too slow and painful compared to cycling. As for swimming, my past mainly consisted of splashing about in the sea, throwing seaweed at my kids and, if truth be told, I can only swim breaststroke, as I never learnt to breathe properly in freestyle.”

Training diary: Ironman WalesCOLIN BARRETT 43, Colin in a peripatetic brass instrument teacher for Pembrokeshire music service.

“Since leaving school in 1988, I’ve virtually not participated in any sport or exercise apart from the occasional skiing holiday. Huw nagged me for about two years to get a road bike and after the constant pestering and wanting to become healthier for the sake of my five-year old daughter, I purchased one through the Cycle to Work scheme. A few rides later with Huw, I entered my first sportive. This soon led to me joining the local Tenby Aces and entering another four sportives. Until very recently I couldn’t swim, so this really is going to be the ultimate test.”

Training diary: Ironman WalesHUW BENBOW 41, Huw is the deputy head teacher at Cleddau Reach Cc Primary school.

“Before this, my sporting past mainly consisted of basketball through college but this led to me destroying my knees and having to give the sport up. Although I always enjoyed outdoor activities, I have pretty much been sedentary for this last 20 years. Just over a year ago, I took up cycling and instantly fell in love with the sport; this has led to me losing three and a half stone in this short time.”

All three completed a 300-mile cycle challenge to raise money for charity and this helped cement a friendship and there started this new journey to become Ironmen. With, how shall we put it delicately, a far from extensive base for taking on a triathlon it will be very interesting to see how the guys get on.

WORDS & PICTURES: Anthony Pease

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