TRIATHLON: Spalding trio deserve coveted ‘Ironman’ tag

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THREE super-fit members of Spalding Triathlton Club pushed themselves to the limit at a gruelling Ironman event in Wales.

Paul Rose, James Graham and Jane Gallagher all completed the daunting 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike ride and 26.2mile run in tough conditions, as they earned the right to call themselves “Ironmen”.

Rose finished the fastest out of the trio, clocking a hugely impressive time of 12.04.56hrs, while Graham crossed the line in 14.15.10hrs.

But Gallagher exploits were perhaps the most remarkable of the three – considering that she only took up swimming and cycling two years ago. She finished in 15.10.03hrs.

The trio were greeted by jet-black skies as they arrived at the course in Tenby’s North Bay. With the conditions tough, they got under way with a turbulent swim.

It was hectic stuff, with no less than 1,300 triathletes all attempting to swim in the same piece water.

The triathletes stormed around the two lap course, exiting by running up the zigzag 1km climb to transition.

With wetsuits relinquished and cycle shoes donned, the survivors of the swim embark on the gigantic bike course of 16 per cent inclines, narrow 20 per cent descents – all done in horizontal rain and driving Welsh winds.

Hours later – and with many calories burnt – they returned to the seaside town to begin the arduous running leg, which was equivalent to a marathon.

Racing up and down the narrow streets, the competitors climbed just under 2,000ft before returning to a heroes welcome. For each triumphant finisher, the cry of “you are an Ironman” greeted their return.

• FIVE Members of the Spalding Triathlon Club travelled to Devon to take part in the Dart 10km open water swim.

Jason Wright, Martin Halifax, Neil Walker, Angela McGill and Catherine Stone all finished the gruelling event inside three hours.

The race started in the beautiful setting of Totnes, where the water temperature was approximately 13 degrees and. Conditions outside of the water were favourable, but in some places the swim was very choppy.

It was, however, an amazing challenge, with the competitors finishing at Dittisham.

Results: Jason Wright 2.32hrs; Martin Halifax 2.44hrs; Neil Walker 2.53hrs; Angela McGill 2.54hrs; Catherine Stone 2.59hrs.