Thursday, September 19, 2013
Ottery St Mary athlete Guy Paddon travelled to Tenby, Wales to take place in the Ironman Wales event, writes Kerri-Ann Upham.
Paddon was joined on the start line by Lisa Maggs of Buckerell and the pair were amongst 1600 athletes on duty for the event.
The first stage was the 2.4 mile swim which took place in the sea with a 7am start!
Following the swim the athletes went through transition and into the 112mile bike ride.
Both Paddon and Maggs had spent the previous nine months training specifically for the Welsh event. However, the rolling hills of East Devon were nothing compared to the brutal Welsh climbs the pair had to face!
Many competitors, including the overall winner of this event, have argued that this is the hardest Ironman course in the world, and if the challenging climbs were not enough competitors also had to deal with a dose of typical British weather with torrential rain showers causing hazardous cycling conditions.
When the pair finished their first of two laps they were greeted in Tenby by a mass of supporters including family and friends then headed off through the Pembrokeshire countryside to face those brutal climbs once again.
The 26.2 mile marathon run was a four-loop course meandering through the crowd lined streets of Tenby with each loop consisting of just over 10km of running.
At 8.43pm, 13 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds after entering the icy waters of North Bay, Tenby, Lisa Maggs crossed the finishing line to finish third - an extraordinary achievement given this was her first Ironman event!
Paddon crossed the finishing lone in a most respectable 14 hours, 25 minutes and 10 seconds.
The Ottery athlete, a veteran of extreme fitness challenges having completed the Jurassic coast challenge and the Mont Blanc marathon said this was by far the hardest event he had ever done.
Both Paddon and Maggs are members of the East Devon N1 Triathlon Club.